Justin Trudeau says Canada is “still in a pandemic”, extends travel and border restrictions that are “anchored in science”

Justin Trudeau says that the decision to extend Canada’s border restrictions is “anchored in science”.

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On Wednesday, June 1, while defending the decision to extend travel and border restrictions, Justin Trudeau said, “The reality is, as much as people would like to pretend we’re not, we’re still in a pandemic. There are Canadians who die every single day because of COVID-19,”.

He said that removing the restrictions could “further damage our tourism industry” if there is another “wave”.

“I know people are eager to get back to things we love but what will also further damage our tourism industry is if we get another wave.”

The government announced that they would be extending COVID-19 border restrictions until at least June 30, 2022. Currently, the Canadian government requires travelers to present vaccination cards showing they are fully vaccinated in order to enter the country. 

Yesterday, on May 31, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech spoke out against the extension of restrictions stating that the “Vaccine mandate for air travelers and employees needs to be dropped.”

Adding that “vaccines are not preventing the spreading of the virus since #omicron, there is no more logic to maintain it.”

Other industry leaders and groups have also called into question the ever-continuing travel and border restrictions.

Monette Pasher, the President of Interim Canadian Airports Council, said that the government should remove onsite mandatory testing in airports and remove vaccine mandates for workers in order to make operations more smooth. 

Pasher said, “We’re urging the federal government to take three concrete actions in the short term to immediately alleviate pressure on the system. They include: removing onsite mandatory testing from Canada’s airports, removing the Public Health Agency of Canada’s duplicate health check questions at government custom checkpoints and at the international border and removing vaccination mandates for CATSA and CBSA workers,”

Susie Grynol, the President and CEO of the HotelAssociation of Canada said, “We did our part to keep Canadians safe and now it is finally our turn to recover. Travel is back with a vengeance and we could not be happier but the passenger experience at our Canadian airports is a challenge,”.

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