Little by little, tourism travel is beginning to be reactivated around the world. Even as different countries around them begin to welcome tourists with open arms, one nation keeps its door firmly closed: Canada.
Reasons why Canada keeps its border airtight:
Its policy during the pandemic has been to exercise caution, even if other nations clamor to reopen as only 27% of Canadians are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and only 46% have received the first dose of the vaccine. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the country has registered more than 1.42 million positive cases and more than 26,273 deaths.
"Our number one priority as we fight COVID-19 is keeping Canadians safe," Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair said in a tweet in mid-June.
Canada also extended its ban to cruise ships, banning ships carrying 100 or more people, effectively shutting down the industry in the country until 2022.
Travelers to Canada must take a test upon arrival and pay for quarantine at a government-approved hotel while waiting for the result of the diagnostic test. If the test is negative, travelers can finish their mandatory 14-day home quarantine, but those who test positive must be quarantined at designated government facilities.
Currently, only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, persons registered under the Canadian Indian Act, protected persons, selected foreign nationals traveling for essential reasons, and direct family members of Canadian citizens or residents are allowed to enter Canada. But if it doesn't fall into one of those categories, that means tourism is practically off limits.
So it's frustrating for travel providers on both sides of the border who want to get back to something close to normal.