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The Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable recently issued the following letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and each of the Provincial Premiers:
As a society, we have faced a threat like no other, COVID-19. And we are still dealing with it. Under the leadership of our governments, we agreed to implement tough decisions to protect our health and safety. We shut down our schools, our businesses, and our borders. We all made sacrifices and continue to adapt to this new reality.
Now, it seems, we are getting through the worst of it.
As we re-open, we are learning to live with the virus, not hide from it or from each other. And, just like we are re-opening the front doors of our homes and businesses, we need to re-open the doors of our provinces, territories – and our country.
The Canadian travel, tourism and hospitality sector employs 1.8 million people and contributes $102 billion to our economy. It relies on the summer season to survive. As Canadians, we wait all year to travel during the summer. We need the summer.
Like you, we believe personal safety is critical. However, many of the travel restrictions currently in place are simply too broad or unnecessary. Limitations on inter-provincial travel that restrict Canadians from freely exploring our country, should be removed. Canadians should be free to travel across Canada.
We also need a more targeted approach to international travel. The mandatory 14-day quarantine and complete closure of our country to all visitors from abroad is no longer necessary and is out of step with other countries across the globe.
Not all countries and regions are risky, and we shouldn’t treat them as such. For international visitors, it’s time to mirror the measured and safe approaches taken in other countries – like Germany, France, Italy and Australia, among many that have started to re-open borders to safe countries.
Heightened hygiene and bio-safety measures are being adopted across travel and tourism in Canada to allow for safe travel, with confidence.
It’s time to encourage Canadians and some visitors from abroad to explore our country this summer, to begin reuniting friends and families, to allow important business travel to occur, and to get our employees working safely again.
It’s time our governments allow Canadians to travel freely.