Unvaccinated travellers may be banned from Canada for years, health minister says

‘They’re going to have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 for the foreseeable future,’ says British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Wednesday 11 August 2021 16:50
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Those who are unvaccinated from Covid-19 may not be able to travel to British Columbia for the next few years, according to the province’s health minister.

“They’re going to have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 for the foreseeable future. I don’t mean weeks or months, I mean years,” British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix said during an interview with KING 5.

Canada reopened its borders to Americans for non-essential travel on 9 August.

In order to cross, they must provide proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test taken within the last 72 hours.

Mr Dix told the publication that he agreed with the reopening, especially given that 82 per cent of the province was now vaccinated against the novel virus.

But he did not want to see a rush of Americans, specifically those who were unvaccinated, at the border.

“I was one of the first people to call for the border to be closed,” Mr Dix said. “This is the privilege of being vaccinated, crossing the border, both ways.”

Although the health minister anticipated British Columbia might have vaccination requirements for the near future, it was not clear how long the vaccinated requirement would last for the entirety of Canada.

The Canadian government said in a statement that it was able to reopen the borders to vaccinated Americans because of “the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining Covid-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity”.

The US-Canadian border has been closed since March 2020.

President Joe Biden extended the closure of the United States border with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel until at least 21 August last month.

Given the surging Delta variant across the country, that closure could face extension.

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