Toronto board of trade applauds decision to scrap COVID test requirement for vaccinated travellers

Click to play video: 'Federal government drops pre-arrival COVID testing for fully vaccinated travellers'
Federal government drops pre-arrival COVID testing for fully vaccinated travellers
WATCH ABOVE: Canada is removing the need for incoming fully-vaccinated travellers to get tested for COVID-19 before entering the country. As Morganne Campbell explains, this new directive is set to take effect on April 1st – Mar 17, 2022

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is applauding the Canadian government’s decision to scrap the pre-arrival COVID-19 testing requirement for fully-vaccinated international travellers.

“With today’s announcement, we are encouraged that Canada is setting the stage for a complete economic recovery, joining jurisdictions like the United Kingdom and Switzerland in removing restrictions that are no longer needed, nor are evidence-based,” the board said in a statement released Thursday after the federal government announced the move.

Read more: ‘A huge, huge moment’: Toronto board of trade reacts as pre-arrival testing for travellers set to end

Starting April 1, fully-vaccinated travellers coming back to Canada will no longer have to present a negative COVID-19 test result (or a positive molecular result at least 10 days and no more than 180 days old).

Fully-vaccinated travellers might still have to undergo random testing when they arrive in Canada, but they don’t have to quarantine while awaiting their results, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said.

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Unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated travellers will be subject to a molecular test both when they arrive and again eight days later. They also have to quarantine for 14 days.

The Toronto Region Board of Trade said they have been pushing for an easing of travel restrictions since last year.

Read more: Canada will scrap pre-arrival COVID-19 testing rule for vaccinated travellers April 1

“Last week, alongside a coalition of Toronto-based tourism groups, we called on Ottawa to drop border testing requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers no later than April 1,” the board noted.

“This announcement will help our region regain its competitive edge following pandemic-related restrictions, and it will be great news for many businesses across the Toronto area. Removing this barrier will help re-establish our position as a welcoming place for both business and leisure visitors.”

The board also thanked the federal government in its statement for “continuing to work constructively with the business, travel and tourism sectors” to ensure a full recovery from the pandemic.

“High vaccination rates and strong adherence to public health measures have pushed us through the peak of the Omicron wave,” Duclos said.

“I think it’s fair to say that we are now entering into a transition phase of this pandemic.”

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He said that travel rules are subject to review and will be adjusted as needed.

— with files from Rachel Gilmore

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