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Canada Eases Border Rules for Vaccinated, Children, & Travelers with Vaccine Medical Exemptions
Canada Eases Border Rules Again for the Fully Vaccinated, Children, and Covid-19 Vaccine Medical Exemptions
By: Noé Chartier
April 22, 2022: Border restrictions will be further eased on April 25, the federal government said on Friday, with the changes relating to children and fully vaccinated travelers.
The Public Health Agency Canada says that children aged 5 to 11 who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated person will no longer require a pre-entry COVID-19 test.
Also, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to submit a quarantine plan upon entry into Canada, and neither will children aged 5 to 11 accompanied by a fully vaccinated person or travelers with a COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption.
Fourteen days after arrival, fully vaccinated travelers will also no longer be required to mask in public spaces, monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms, quarantine if another traveler in the same group develops symptoms or tests positive, or maintain a list of close contacts and locations visited.
While most of Canadian provinces and territories have lifted most if not all COVID-19 restrictions, the federal government has taken a slow and incremental approach to lifting restrictions under its purview, and so far only regarding border rules. On March 17, Ottawa announced that fully vaccinated travelers would no longer require a pre-entry test, with the rule coming into effect on April 11.
Larger issues, like the vaccine mandate for federally regulated modes of transportation which, combined with U.S. vaccine border rules, prevent millions of unvaccinated Canadians from leaving the country, have no end in sight so far.
Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, was asked about the mandate on April 22 during a routine COVID-19 briefing and he implied that mandatory vaccination for travel is kept in place as a means to push people to get vaccinated.
“I think everyone is in agreement that vaccines are still our major tool, a major layer of protection, and so both inside Canada, for all Canadians, but also for travel purposes, I think it’s important to stress the point that the higher our vaccine coverage is, the better we all are overall, in terms of protecting against serious consequences of COVID 19,” he said.
“As we move forward, certainly, we’ll continue to look at the evidence, the data, and adjust as necessary.”
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam also said the definition of what constitutes being fully vaccinated will be examined, with the current definition meaning a primary series of two doses of Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines, and more recently the newly authorized vaccines by Novavax and Medicago, or the single-dose DNA vaccines of Johnson & Johson and AstraZeneca.
“In terms of an actual requirement [to get a booster] … that’s a policy that needs to be examined, and it will be examined by our decision-makers, the ministers in charge,” she said.
“Get a booster,” Tam said repeatedly.
Data from Ontario and Quebec currently suggests that individuals who received a booster dose are getting infected at much higher rates, but are less likely to be admitted to hospital.
In Ontario, the seven-day average for cases among the “not fully vaccinated” is 12.71 cases per 100,000, whereas it’s 25.88 cases per 100,000 for the boosted. In hospitals for or with COVID, 225 individuals out of 1,292 are unvaccinated (17.4 percent), whereas they count for 10 percent of the vaccine-eligible population of the province.
In Quebec, the seven-day average for cases among those not vaccinated or vaccinated with one dose within 14 days is 16.50 cases per 100,000. For the boosted, it’s 44.51 cases per 100,000. In hospitals over 28 days, the admission rate for or with COVID for boosted individuals is 69 per 100,000, whereas it’s 85 per 100,000 for the unvaccinated or vaccinated with one dose within 14 days.
Tam also addressed the masking requirement in airplanes.
“I think it is prudent to continue to require wearing a mask,” she said when asked if the requirement for wearing a mask on airplanes will be soon removed like in the United States.
“Wearing a mask is an additional layer of protection and can reduce transmission,” she said. The usefulness of masks is not a foregone conclusion, with some detractors saying they’re ineffective at stopping transmission due to the virus being aerosol and minuscule enough to pass through even N-95 masks, considered the most protective option available for common people.
“It’s a respiratory virus, it’s going to go through the air. Are masks going to be effective? Not the types of masks that we’re seeing here. There’s no evidence for that,” said Dr. Richard Urso in an interview aired April 21 on EpochTV’s American Thought Leaders.
Urso is the co-founder of the International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Scientists and works in operating rooms doing viral lesions, which releases viruses in the air, and he says it’s always been known that surgical masks don’t offer protection.
“I’m not going to wear that [surgical] mask, because it doesn’t work against viruses and I’ve known that forever,” he said, mentioning other protective means needing to be used.
“All the scientific studies [on masks] that have been done with randomized control trials have proven not to be effective, except that one which had very low scientific rigor [the so-called Bangladesh study],” he said.
Source: The Epoch Times