The prime minister agrees to lift pandemic border measures, source says RS News

RS News

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The federal government has decided to drop the vaccination requirement for people entering Canada, end random COVID-19 testing at airports and make use of the ArriveCan app optional by the end of the month, a senior government source told CBC News.

Earlier this week, sources told CBC that Ottawa was prepared to end the measures but a final decision had not been made because it was waiting for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval.

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The current COVID-19 emergency order-in-council related to border measures is set to expire on September 30. The government had the option to extend the measures. The government is expected to make an official announcement on Monday, the source said.

The official spoke to CBC on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

The government has not yet decided whether they will end the current masking requirements for passengers on planes and trains. The topic will be debated in the cabinet later on Thursday.

On Tuesday, a group of MPs and border town mayors published an open letter to Trudeau and U.S. officials.

“When COVID-19 was at its peak and border measures were effective in slowing transmission rates, we did our part to keep Canadians and Americans safe,” the letter says. “Now, we have been left behind in the recovery effort as both countries have largely returned to normal daily life.”

A number of travelers and tourism operators have called for an end to the pandemic measures, especially random testing.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada said it was “heartbroken” by the news but added that the government should still lift the masking requirement for air travelers.

“We have been unequivocal in calling on the federal government to lift all remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions,” a statement from the organization said.

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