Border relaxation | Customs officials expect a busy weekend

(Washington) Canadian customs officials have been trying to increase the number of travelers entering the country over the first full weekend since health restrictions began to ease.

James McCarton
The Canadian Press

Canada’s Border Services has increased incoming traffic by about 25% since Monday, removing isolated restrictions on Canadians and permanently vaccinated permanent residents.

Denise Vinet, vice president of the general direction of travelers at the agency, confirms that the number of people entering the country this weekend should be further increased.

Mr. According to Vinet, half of those who want to enter Canada under the exemption are unable to do so, mainly because they have not been fully vaccinated or have been vaccinated. Not recognized in Canada.

Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents of one of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada – Pfizer-Bioendech, Moderna, Oxford-Astrogenega or Johnson & Johnson – are exempt from isolation.

Passengers must use the ArriveCAN application or online portal to submit information about their immunization status and the results of a negative COVID-19 test taken no later than three days before departure.

“The important thing for people to understand is what is meant by‘ fully exempt traveler ’as defined by Canada,’ ’Vinet said in an interview Friday. “It received one of four vaccines from Health Canada. It’s about gaining […] Both injections, 14 days after your second injection. ”

Of those seeking exemptions, half received a single dose, received their second dose within 14 days of arrival, or received a vaccine other than the four approved in Canada.

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“I’m not referring to people trying, you know, lurking around. I think this is the question of people who do not understand the rules.”

Vineet said the company is keen to ensure that passengers understand what has changed and what has not been done, in order to avoid excessive delays or problems at border checkpoints.

He argued that delays were not significant, except for bustling crossings such as Windsor-Detroit and Fort Erie, Ont., Or the Pacific Highway, British Columbia, where peak waiting times are sometimes as long as 45 minutes.

Mr Vineet commented that we are only in the early days of the new exemption. “When you notice that about 50% of you are ineligible, we want to make sure that we do not grant the right to exempt those who are ineligible, especially in our communities if it creates risk.”

The ArriveCAN portal is available on Apple and Android or online at the federal government website at Passengers must use the most up-to-date version of the app when the rules were changed last Monday.

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