Canada's Travel Restrictions Need To Be 'Reevaluated In The Days & Weeks To Come'
Dr. Theresa Tam said border measures need "to get back to some normalcy" and enable safe travel.
The country's top doctor has revealed that Canada's travel restrictions need to be "reevaluated in the days and weeks to come" as the government plans for when the Omicron wave recedes.
Dr. Theresa Tam was asked during a COVID-19 briefing on February 4 to give an update about when the federal government could be expected to ease some of its travel measures.
She said that border measures are a layer of protection, so the ability to shift those and to facilitate travel for vaccinated people is currently dependent on domestic epidemiology, health care capacity and the global situation.
"Traveling outside also depends on looking at the epidemiologic information globally and right now the Omicron wave is going strong. So that absolutely has to be reevaluated in the days and weeks to come," Tam said.
When it comes to what's happening in Canada, the country's top doctor said that cases are starting to come down but hospitalizations are still going up, so it's difficult to ease travel restrictions when there might not be the capacity to deal with the additional importation of cases.
However, that doesn't mean relaxing travel rules can't be looked into right now.
"At the same time, we need to begin to plan forwards for when this particular wave recedes and be ready," Tam said.
Canada's top doctor noted that the country needs "to get back to some normalcy," which includes what's going on at the border in terms of travel measures and policies.
Tam said that the government has to use innovation and tools "to try and enable safe travel."
Earlier in the year, she also said that the government's on-arrival testing requirement will be evaluated, calling it "a capacity drain."
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