RIVERS, BORDERS AND THE VAGUENESS OF UPCOMING COVID-19 CHANGES
Here is what we hear:
- The Canadian federal government is right now reviewing the rules for international travel, and also discussions with the U.S. government have increased
- The key will be a high percentage, 75%, of Canadians having BOTH vaccinations followed by 14 days elapsed to bring the immunity to full efficacy, according to Federal Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam.
- The federal government is saying progress on opening the international border will also depend on Covid-19 case numbers and other factors, but certainly they are under increased pressure from politicians of all parties, from businesses, and in the Atlantic salmon world, from outfitters, provincial governments, and not least, questions from those wanting to get to their rivers from the U.S.
- There is increasing internal government discussion of some form of “vaccine passport”, to facilitate international travel, but nothing has been announced, and may not be for some time.
- New Brunswick has outlined a plan for reopening, but all depends on the levels of full vaccination and the number of Covid-19 cases. The hope is to reopen an “Atlantic Bubble” somewhere around July 1, and to target greater reopening perhaps a month later. Prince Edward Island is going to make changes to open up visitation, but while the timetable is similar to NB’s, it isn’t identical.
- Newfoundland and Labrador is still planning to open up to other Canadian visitors July 1, with a number of restrictions that include a first vaccination, a negative test within three days of entry, and another test on arrival. Fully vaccinated Canadians will not need to apply for right to visit, and will not need to take a Covid-19 test on arrival. There will be a form, and need to upload a proof of full vaccination.
- Nova Scotia, recently hit by higher Covid-19 levels, now has a complicated five phase plan that will unfold over the next several months. Details of the reopening plan: https://novascotia.ca/reopening-plan/
- There remains special concern on visitors to Cape Breton Island, and government will be watching the situation closely.
- The essential key in loosening regulations in each of the provinces will be full vaccination and numbers of Covid-19 cases.
This writer would put money on the reopening date for fully vaccinated U.S. travellers as sometime from late summer to October. While everyone is hoping for the earliest possible date, there are too many factors to give a full answer at this time. Uppermost in the federal government’s consideration is going to be the importance of protection of Canadian citizens from any increase in pandemic numbers.