Canada announces limited first phase of border reopening

Abella age two poses with her parents in Germany where they lived before moving to Canada

It will apply to people eligible to travel to Canada, including citizens, permanent residents, and people registered under the Indian Act. Officials briefing reporters on the new procedures said that the vaccinations do not have to be administered in Canada, and the list of applicable vaccines could change over time.

This includes quarantine-exempt individuals, such as cross-border workers.

Starting July 5, all Canadians returning from overseas who have been fully vaccinated will no longer have to quarantine for two weeks or stay at a government hotel until they test negative for COVID-19. If the traveler's test returns a negative result, they will be able to finish their mandatory 14-day quarantine at home.

The current ban on incoming non-essential travel stands, meaning foreign tourists will not be allowed into Canada under the relaxation of measures.

Government of Canada announces easing of testing, quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated travelers, those with confirmation of Permanent Residence.

Those travellers must have two doses of a vaccine approved by Health Canada, provide a negative COVID-19 test from 72 hours before arrival, take a second test upon arrival, and have a quarantine plan in the event the arrival test comes back positive.

The vaccines approved by Canada are now those of Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Astra Zeneca. They also wouldn't say how many Canadians need to be vaccinated against COVID or under what number of COVID cases, hospitalizations or ICU admissions there needs to be in Canada for remaining travel restrictions to be relaxed. "But we're also requiring travellers to retain a copy of their vaccination documents, originals or a certified translation, for verification by the border service officers".

No changes have been made to border measures for travellers who are not fully vaccinated. "They should do this before heading to the border", Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said.

Covid-19: NI records 178 new cases and no further deaths
The most recent data shows 99% of confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus across the country are the Delta variant . The total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic is 2,155.

However, the agency also said that it "notes positive developments in recent weeks and is participating with other USA agencies in the White House's expert working groups with Canada and Mexico to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably".

In order to be considered fully vaccinated, travellers will have had to have received a full series of a vaccine, or a combination of vaccines that have been authorized by Health Canada- Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Johnson & Johnson-at least 14 days prior to entering the country.

Conservative Health Critic Michelle Rempel Garner also criticized the government for not being more forthcoming about what benchmarks need to be hit to further relax travel restrictions.

"Discussions are ongoing with provincial, territory, and worldwide partners, with the aim of allowing for non-essential travel of fully vaccinated foreign nationals into Canada in the coming months", Blair said.

"With no metrics or science presented with today's decision, this is a political decision likely created to discourage travel while giving a talking point for the Liberals to diffuse anger from (the) tourism industry and families separated across borders", Rempel Garner said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, this much-awaited first phase of reopening Canada's borders continues to allow entry to foreign nationals only for strictly essential reasons. They must have this documentation for two weeks after entering Canada.

This story was updated at 1:43 p.m.

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