OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government plans to take a phased approach to welcoming back international visitors as pandemic restrictions loosen.
Trudeau says he expects high interest from overseas travellers who wish to come to Canada because of vaccination uptake rates and case counts that are better than peer countries.
“We need to make sure that travellers are vaccinated — are fully vaccinated — before they come to Canada because we don’t want to risk further outbreaks. A fourth wave would be devastating to not just the economy, but to morale,” he said.
Trudeau adds the safety of Canadians will guide the government’s decisions, but did not offer any timeline to relaxing border restrictions which have been in place since March 2020.
“We know there’s still challenges with variants, including the Delta variant, that is causing a whole bunch of concern not just in India but also in the U.K. these days, and other places around the world. We really need to make sure that we’re keeping everyone safe,” he said.
He says that the government is looking at ways to start welcoming back visitors from abroad as case counts come down at home, in the United States and elsewhere around the world.
Trudeau made the comments today during a virtual appearance at an event hosted by the St. John’s Board of Trade, where he was pressed on ways to help the country’s hard-hit tourism sector.