The Federal government will be announcing today that it will drop the vaccine mandate for domestic travel on planes and trains, as well as on outbound international flights.
As the pandemic has evolved and new tools have emerged to control the impact of COVID-19, TIAO has been advocating for government to remove barriers to travel. TIAO welcomes today’s announcement as an important step towards normalizing travel; it will help increase inter-provincial travel and streamline processes at our airports, meaning a better customer experience for travellers.
But while it will reduce barriers and encourage more people to travel, TIAO is still concerned about the unanswered question of when unvaccinated travellers will be able to visit Canada and crucially when the mandatory requirement to use the ArriveCAN app will be eliminated.
Many tourism businesses, especially those in Northern Ontario, have been hard hit by the pandemic and have yet to see the return of U.S. visitors. Despite this month's increase in U.S. residents taking trips into Canada through land ports, the number of trips remains at half (50.8%) of the U.S. residents who arrived by automobile during the same month in 2019.
TIAO will continue working with federal counterparts to remove remaining obstacles to travel at all points of entry, following the lead of many European countries – only then will the tourism industry and the wider visitor economy truly be able to recover.