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The latest news on the restriction forecast in Canada.

This road map from the Canadian government doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies.
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/awareness-resources/vaccinated-against-covid-19.html

In a nutshell it says we can open up somewhat by summer if 75% of the population has its 1st does and 20% have their 2nd does. Right now it's something like 50%/4% but it is trending better quickly for those 1st doses.

By Fall if 75% of the population is fully vaccinated we might open up universities, indoor youth sports and family gatherings. Nothing about cross border travel or lifting quarantine measures when we come back. To my American friends, I guess I'll just wave across the border to you.

Posted by
2987 posts

Allan, I really don't know why you would expect anything less. The govt forecast all along has been fall for the majority to be fully vaccinated. Lifting restrictions before that would, IMO, be irresponsible and just begging for another wave like we're in now.

Posted by
2916 posts

if 75% of the population is fully vaccinated

The United States, which has one of the best figures right now for vaccination, isn't even close to that, and may never be. Just too many vaccine resistant people. So how does Canada expect to hit 75%?

Posted by
4886 posts

The U.K. started will start lifting more lockdown restrictions from Monday, allowing some limited meetings indoors, but as the Indian variant Covid case numbers have doubled in a week, the government here is suggesting that local restrictions may have to be reintroduced and further lockdown easing in June may not happen. We have 67% that have had one vaccine and 36.7% with both jabs. The gap between vaccines is being reduced to try to give more protection.

Some international borders are opening up on Monday for Brits to travel abroad but it will be interesting to see if these get closed again soon. We still have inbound quarantine for travel from most countries.

There’s no quick fix anywhere to this issue, unfortunately.

Posted by
3789 posts

Jennifer, I believe the variant you refer to is medically and scientifically classed as B1.617 (B1617 for short) Easier than some to remember and use.

Posted by
3789 posts

So, Allan, is Alberta talking about the 4th wave yet? Ontario is....and I think you know where I work. Find a new hobby my friend. Perhaps also some mindfulness classes. We would expect a long haul.

Posted by
2987 posts

The United States, which has one of the best figures right now for
vaccination, isn't even close to that, and may never be. Just too many
vaccine resistant people. So how does Canada expect to hit 75%?

Robert- it will certainly be interesting to see if we reach our goals. How? Perhaps because we haven't seen the politicization of the pandemic to the degree of the US. Federally, and (mostly) provincially, the leaders have followed the advice of their Chief Medical Officers. We are probably closer to the UK than the US when it comes to lockdowns and restriction. So I think a larger percentage of us are eager to get the vaccinations if it means safely easing of restrictions. We are just now beginning to come down from the latest wave, and it was scary bad- several provinces were maxed out on ICU beds and Ontario even had to bring in extra medical staff to help out. I think this last wave may have put the fear of God into some of the vaccine hesitant.

Posted by
26071 posts

I believe the variant you refer to is medically and scientifically classed as B1.617 (B1617 for short)

If you want to give it its proper name it is slightly more of a mouthful B1.617.2. They have said how important the point 2 is. We actually have 3 Indian variants circulating at the moment, and reading (pretty easily) between the lines the UK government is just the slightest bit panicking.

Posted by
1919 posts

Allan, I really don't know why you would expect anything less.

The intent of my post wasn't to complain about a slow/cautious rollout, it was to express frustration for such a short list of actions when milestones are reached. This is after all a travel forum and like every other country we have an airline and tourism industry that is in need of some of clear objectives so it can effectively ramp up.

Posted by
3789 posts

Nigel, there are subsets, yet. But I think you are missing the point, or maybe in the UK you are not receiving the same backlash of innocent people being attacked and murdered because of their nationality or colour. Labeling any of them...Wuhan, India, UK, South African, wherever...is perpetuating stigmas. I was trying to remind that there are official names rather than media names that can be used.
And as variants mutate and will continue to do so, why not just call it a 'variants or a 'variant of concern'. I can tell you in day by day front line work, we don't care which one it is.

Posted by
2987 posts

Alan: "... to express frustration for such a short list of actions when milestones are reached."

I understand your frustration. I'd like to travel too. However I also think I understand the government's caution in giving a hard number when unlimited travel will be opened. I think much will depend not only on the national situation, but the global one. Right now both are an unknown. I'd much rather wait than to have them pull some figure out of their...hat and then have to walk it back because the situation was is still too unstable. The article cited repeatedly mentioned local conditions. As we've seen, the pandemic has adversely affected some areas much more than others. And this makes national recommendations that much more difficult.

Posted by
2774 posts

I've been watching for US-Canada border news because we're invited to a family wedding in Washington state in early September. We live on the US east coast, so it would be a major trip for us and we really don't want to go unless we can also visit some dear friends in British Columbia. It's looking like that won't happen.

It's not entirely clear to me why cross-border travelers couldn't be allowed if they fulfilled all three of the following: you and everyone in your household (except children) fully vaccinated, negative Covid test 5 days before arrival (or whatever the proper interval is), AND wear mask at all times during travel except when eating/drinking. But I guess that would be too complicated, or too many people would try to lie about being vaccinated? I have no expertise in this field, just observing the tools we have and thinking what I'd suggest if someone asked me.

Posted by
2774 posts

Just noticed this article dated 14 May 2021: "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has begun preliminary internal discussions about reopening the border with the U.S., even as Canada remains well behind its neighbor in vaccinations. ... Any reopening of the border would be gradual and contingent on declining cases in both countries, the officials said."

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-14/trudeau-government-begins-work-on-reopening-u-s-canada-border

Posted by
31303 posts

It's been "hinted" here in B.C. that restrictions will gradually start to ease after the holiday (Victoria Day) weekend. However medical authorities have been clear that this will be a gradual reopening and not "turning a switch on".

It will depend on the new case numbers though. At the moment, the number of new cases (494 today) and hospitalizations have been steadily trending downward while the vaccination program is increasing, so this is good news. We're expecting a large shipment of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines next week, and Dr. Henry indicated that the time between first and second jab may be shortened very soon. We received a large shipment of Astra Zeneca this week, but that entire shipment is being reserved for second jabs for those that had AZ for the first one.

According to recent news reports, Washington state is doing well with their vaccination program, so there's a faint glimmer of hope that the border rules might change. There's some pressure to ease the border rules, not only to help the struggling shops in Bellingham but also because of the plight of the residents of Point Roberts, and they may initially allow a limited reopening as they did between Stewart BC and Hyder, AK - https://www.alaskapublic.org/2020/11/02/canadas-relaxes-covid-19-border-rules-for-alaskans-in-hyder/ . Maybe one of these days I can travel up to that area and get "Hyderized".

Authorities here have said that "we'll be in a very different place by this summer", so IF everything goes well there may be reason for optimism.

Posted by
1144 posts

"The govt forecast all along has been fall for the majority to be fully vaccinated." - This was not the original plan. It was put forward by the feds only when they realised they were doing an awful job at procurement, and were fumbling and failed in their attempts to kick-start our own production. Four months between vaccine doses? The response has been a joke, and not a very funny one.

And does anyone really think that hiding information about the origins of different strains is a good idea? Call them what you want, but this information has to be disclosed and talked about.

Posted by
3789 posts

And does anyone really think that hiding information about the origins of different strains is a good idea? Call them what you want, but this information has to be disclosed and talked about.
Not all strains are clear as to their origins, however, and discussing location isn't the same as labelling it with that location. That's where stigma and predjudice grows and has led to violence.
Remember these strains and the original covid is here in Ontario, and mutating happily away on its own. It is no longer from its original location of origin.

Posted by
1144 posts

The Brazlian and Indian strains, for example, are identified as so by medical experts, not by me, and they are very common terms for the strains. The strains can mutate here in Canada, dressed in top hat and tails and happily dancing like Fred Astaire on a shiny ballroom floor. They still originated in Brazil or India, unless we are told otherwise.

Posted by
41 posts

Been watching this for a year... I need to move to Montreal for graduate school this summer and while I have a permit, I'd dread making the drive from the US alone. Would be wonderful to be joined by a vaccinated family member.

Posted by
2987 posts

Ken, I'm not so sure about that. This quote, from the federal Minister's office: "Until the conditions on both sides of the border change very substantively, the measures at our borders will remain intact. The decision on when and how to reopen the border will be made in Canada, with the best interest of Canadians as our top priority." ( bolded is mine). Leads me to think the closure will be extended for a while yet, if they're basing decisions of case rates and vaccination progress.

Posted by
31303 posts

C.Jean,

At least they're now talking about it, and hopefully formulating a plan and deciding on the criteria for limited border openings. Vaccinations seem to be going well on both sides of the border and if a sufficient number can be vaccinated before the end of summer, we may see some changes. Here in B.C. there's supposed to be more information released about a graduated reopening "in the days following" the May 24th long weekend.

Posted by
4946 posts

Ironic that Canada closed its border to the USA when cases were higher per capita in the USA, now that the USA is doing great on vaccinations and Canada is not, that the border is still shutdown.

The EU is likely to open to Americans if vaccinated by Summer. CDC has loosened rules for mask wearing for vaccinated.
Still, Canada's shutdown appears to have wiped out Alaska cruising for this year.

Posted by
378 posts

Here in B.C. there's supposed to be more information released about a graduated reopening "in the days following" the May 24th long weekend.

The day the border re-opens to B.C., the traffic jam is going to stretch from the Peace Arch to Portland. A couple of Canadians might come to the US as well, mostly to gawk.

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
7630 posts

The day the border re-opens to B.C., the traffic jam is going to stretch from the Peace Arch to Portland. A couple of Canadians might come to the US as well, mostly to gawk.
- Mike Beebe

I believe there will be two way lines

I suspect the Bellingham Costco will have a spike of visitors when the border opens

Their gas is running $4.73(US) per gallon Today Costco is $3.13

You thought the lines at the gas stations in the SE US were long last week.....

Posted by
1919 posts

I believe there will be two way lines

I agree. The Canadian dollar is doing very well vs. the $US right now-I think I heard on the radio today that it is at its highest point in 6 years. That always opens up extra interest in trips south. Idaho might get busy again with people from my neck of the woods. Personally we have eyes on LA or San Diego this Fall if things open up to an acceptable level and we find a good last minute deal.