Surrey Board of Trade Calls for End of Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated Travellers The Surrey Board of Trade calls on the federal government to remove the unnecessary and restrictive rules affecting the travel industry.
“Today the Surrey Board of Trade joined other national business leaders and sent a letter to Canada’s Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, to ensure that the tourism and hospitality industries can survive this year by removing unnecessary and restrictive rules affecting the travel industry,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.
The Surrey Board of Trade is asking the federal government to:
1. Remove pre-departure testing entirely for fully vaccinated travellers on or before April 1st, which is when the regulations will be updated. Continuing to test, targeting solely the travel sector, is unnecessary and not rooted in science.
2. Remove the $5,000 fine
If someone who has tested positive in the last ten days crosses the land border into Surrey, they may be subject to a $5,000 fine.
3. Remove COVID-19 testing at the border
Travel is no riskier than many other domestic activities, and there is no scientific reason to single it out. Canada’s current COVID-19 travel restrictions are obsolete and out of step with countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Denmark, which have removed all testing requirements at their respective borders for fully vaccinated travellers.
4. Remove the confusion
There is confusion around the rules and fear of getting stuck abroad has established an environment of uncertainty for travellers. Travellers who are fully vaccinated should no longer be subject to out-of-pocket testing expenses and outdated measures.
Surrey is a border city and soon will be the largest city in British Columbia. The economic reliance (families and businesses who are on both sides of the border) on moving across the border is important to recognize and understand.
The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the pandemic. Hotels and travel agencies for example are hanging on by a thread. Replacing the PCR test with an antigen test has not positively impacted bookings. The federal government has acknowledged that we are in a different phase of pandemic management and so Canada’s travel rules should reflect this. It’s time to do away with pre-departure COVID-19 testing so that this industry can benefit economically this summer season.