Traveling this summer? Here’s what you need to know as vaccine warrants are lifted

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As COVID-19 restrictions are gradually eased, many Canadians plan to travel this summer. This is what you need to know if you are planning a trip.

What are the latest changes?

As of June 20, passengers no longer need to be fully vaccinated, with two doses of an approved COVID-19 or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, to board a plane or train in Canada.

The federal government is also raising vaccination requirements for federally regulated workers, allowing employees of airlines and airports with unpaid leave due to their vaccination status to return to work.

Ottawa will regain seats if the situation at COVID-19 worsens, according to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist, said it was “the right time” to end travel orders because they no longer serve the intended purpose of preventing the transmission of COVID-19 in transportation.

TARGET | It’s time to dump her and move on.

The “right time” to end vaccine travel mandates, says the specialist

It is reasonable for Ottawa to drop its COVID-19 vaccine warrants for travel, says infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, noting that two doses do not prevent transmission of Omicron.

What remains the same?

Vaccinated Canadians returning from abroad still need to meet entry requirements, such as using the ArriveCAN mobile app or the desktop version to submit their travel and COVID-19 information within the 72 hours prior to arrival in Canada.

Unvaccinated people still have to meet additional testing and quarantine requirements or face a fine of up to $ 5,000 or criminal prosecution.

Masks are still mandatory for those boarding planes or trains.

Will this fix airport delays?

Some industry groups and politicians have blamed the recent chaos of some Canadian airports on COVID-related border restrictions, while government officials say delayed or canceled flights and security queues for hours are due to staff shortages.

LeBlanc has said the lifting of vaccine warrants will not immediately affect airport delays.

However, he and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra have said the government has taken steps to address the issues, including hiring more security guards and adding more customs kiosks.

What about the monkey’s smallpox?

Health officials are encouraging Canadians to take extra precautions, due to the potential threat of monkeypox, if traveling to 31 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Spain, and Germany. The “level two” warning, issued on June 7 by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), is a step below a recommendation to avoid non-essential travel.

Outbreaks of the virus are rare outside of West and Central Africa, but cases have been reported around the world in recent weeks. At least 123 have been confirmed in Canada.

The PHAC says anyone with symptoms or a diagnosis of monkeypox should delay the trip and isolate themselves. The virus is known to cause revealing skin lesions, however it often appears initially as a flu-like illness.

The agency says travelers may be subject to isolation or other measures to limit the spread of the virus on arrival at its destination. He also warns that those who go abroad may have limited access to adequate care if they become ill and may experience delays in returning home.

How do I protect myself?

Many precautions against COVID-19 are also effective against monkeypox, says respirologist Dr. Samir Gupta, although the latter spreads more by direct contact than by air.

“You really want to focus on preventing contact, washing your hands, even with gloves,” he told CBC News.

However, wearing a mask is a good idea, as some studies have suggested that the virus is able to spread through the air, he said.

PHAC recommends that travelers consult a health care professional or visit a travel medical clinic at least six weeks before the trip. He also says travelers can reduce their risk if they are “especially vigilant” at any big party or meeting.

TARGET | Precautions against monkeypox:

Tips from a doctor to avoid monkeypox during the trip

Washing your hands and wearing a mask are good precautions for travelers trying to avoid monkeypox, says breathing doctor Samir Gupta.

When will my passport be renewed?

Long lineups have become commonplace outside of passport offices BC a Montrealdue to what Service Canada called an “unprecedented increase” in requests as travel reopens after two years of pandemic restrictions.

Some people have had to reschedule trips because of the bottleneck.

Service Canada has said yes incorporated 600 new employees help.

All passport service counters reopened last month and more have been added at more than 300 centers.

According to projections in early June, 75% of applicants should receive their passport within 40 working days, according to a spokesman for Canada’s Employment and Social Development. Ninety-six percent of those who apply in person at a specialized site must receive theirs within 10 business days.

From the left, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra and Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos are announcing the changes in Ottawa. (Patrick Doyle / The Canadian Press)

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