Toronto – The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is, again, calling on the federal government to end the mandatory hotel quarantine program for fully vaccinated Canadian residents returning to Canada. As numerous outbreaks of COVID-19 continue to plague the hotel quarantine system, the CSA is calling on the federal government to provide an exemption for fully vaccinated Canadian residents inoculated in the U.S. who are re-entering Canada by air.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that persons who meet the condition of demonstrating full vaccination at least two weeks prior to arrival in Canada “pose a risk of significant harm to public health” or present a “risk of introduction or spread of COVID-19.” There is, accordingly, not a sound basis for subjecting them to the mandatory hotel quarantine requirement.
The latest scientific data from the CDC demonstrates that the chances of fully vaccinated individuals spreading COVID-19, also known as “breakthrough infections,” are extremely low. By following the science, the federal government should update their guidance and provide quarantine exemptions for Canadian residents who can prove through official means, such as a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that they have been fully inoculated against COVID-19.
Last month, a federal advisory panel advising the government on COVID-19 testing and screening recommended ending the mandatory hotel stopover program required of international travellers entering Canada. In their report, the panel highlighted that some travellers are choosing to bypass the mandatory hotel stopover program and opting to receive a fine instead. The panel also emphasized the high costs of the program to both travellers and the government as well as the uneven application of quarantine rules at airports and land borders.
“Treating vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers in the same manner is not only counterproductive, it is not informed by the latest science,” said Karen Huestis, president of the Canadian Snowbird Association. “We are calling on the Prime Minister and his government to follow the advice of the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel and exempt fully vaccinated Canadian residents from the mandatory hotel quarantine program immediately.”
The Canadian Snowbird Association is an over 115,000 member, non-profit, non-partisan organization representing Canadian travellers from across the country. The CSA works in partnership with government and business to educate and advocate on behalf of all travelling Canadians, helping to ensure access to safe, healthy travel with no restrictions on freedom of movement.