The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable welcomes the increased clarity around the federal government’s decision to require domestic travelers by air, train, and marine to be fully vaccinated, according to a press release.
“The federal government’s announcement effectively makes travel one of the safest activities in the country. With these measures in place, the transportation sector becomes one of the only sectors requiring fully vaccinated employees and customers. Since the start of the pandemic, travel has been unfairly labeled as unsafe and risky. This announcement will help to increase passenger confidence,” said Beth Potter, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
“Now that the government has announced details around mandatory vaccinations for travelers, the Roundtable calls on the Government of Canada to take an active role in ensuring the timely implementation of a pan-Canadian proof of vaccination that would allow for the harmonization, efficiency, and interoperability of vaccine certification programs across the country,” added Potter.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant and long-lasting damage to the Canadian travel and tourism industry. Notwithstanding the gradual re-opening, from coast to coast, small businesses are feeling the impact of COVID-19, and many are at risk of permanent closure, notes the release. To that end, the industry must urgently adopt travel policies and guidelines that are consistent with the changing environment to support the re-opening of Canada’s travel economy.
“As we enter this new phase of the pandemic, it is quickly becoming clear that travel is an activity that is re-opening for the fully vaccinated,” said Perrin Beatty, President & CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “While government restrictions have opened travel for fully vaccinated travelers, many obstacles remain that are preventing the economic recovery of the industry. For example, business travel is a necessary component of growing small businesses and has been made very difficult by the current travel requirements,” Mr. Beatty stated.
The Roundtable is calling on the federal government to review the outdated measures currently in place that were implemented before Canada became the most fully vaccinated country in the G20. These measures – such as the pre-departure PCR test and the blanket travel advisories warning Canadian against international travel – continue to hamper many businesses in the Canadian travel and tourism sector.
The pandemic, our vaccination status, and available science have changed; so too should Canada’s response and measures to keep Canadians safe while allowing business to re-open. This is in line with the recommendations made by the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel Report., notes the release.
The Roundtable is committed to maintaining its ongoing support for vaccination campaigns, and its member companies continue to invest heavily in the safe reset of Canada’s travel and tourism economy. It welcomes the opportunity to work with the federal government to support all re-opening efforts.