Eased border measures announcement on the way

Eased border measures announcement on the way

OTTAWA — The federal government is making two major announcements on the pandemic front today: the approval of Canada’s first COVID-19 vaccine for children; and plans to ease some of the pandemic-related measures at the border.

At 1 p.m., federal ministers are set to discuss easing measures taken to prevent importing new cases across the border.

As reported earlier this week, they are expected to do away with the rule that requires travellers to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test in order to get back into the country, but just for trips of 72 hours or less at first.

The rule is part of an order-in-council that is set to expire on Sunday.

Critics have called for the test requirement to be scrapped completely for vaccinated travellers, but Canada is expected to take a more gradual approach to ramp down health measures at the border.

Business leaders, Canadian and international politicians, members of the tourism industry and travellers have complained the requirement is expensive, cumbersome and redundant.

The government has also announced Health Canada’s authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children.

Canada is expecting an accelerated delivery of 2.9 million child-sized doses, enough for a first dose for every child in the five to 11 age group.