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Feds confident airports will be ready when border restrictions ease

Last Updated Jun 16, 2021 at 10:25 am PDT

Details of the gradual federal border reopening plan are going to be announced within days – ahead of the expiration of the current border restrictions on Monday.

The federal government says it is confident the airline industry and airports in Canada will be prepared to start accepting travellers again when the borders start to reopen to non-essential travel.

Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the government has been in contact with airlines and airports about the plan but says reopening may not happen as soon as the restrictions expire.

“Certainly we need to give them time to prepare for reopening,” says Alghabra. “We feel confident with our partnership with them, and their dedicated and committed workers will be ready to work with us on the reopening of travel.”

He did not give any additional details of the plan but did say the government will make sure airports have the screening and testing resources needed to deal with an increase in travellers.

Only four airports in Canada are currently accepting international flights but Alghabra says as the reopening expands the government will make sure other airports have the necessary resources to deal with an increase in passengers.

The federal government have already indicated people will likely need a digital vaccine passport to visit another country.

The government also eliminated the need for fully vaccinated Canadian air travellers to spend three days quarantining in an authorized hotel upon arriving in the country.

Canada introduced a rule earlier in the year that those entering the country by air without an exemption have to stay at a government-approved hotel for up to three nights before going home to finish the rest of their quarantine.