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Canada easing COVID-19 hotel quarantine, isolation rules for fully vaccinated: source

The federal government is set to announce Wednesday that fully vaccinated Canadian travellers will no longer need to spend 14 days in COVID-19 quarantine upon arriving home.

A federal source familiar with the policy says the change will go into effect in early July. The source spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a policy decision that has yet to be made public.

It will apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Affected travellers will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada, and remain in isolation until the test comes back negative.

The government will also eliminate the need for fully vaccinated Canadian air travellers to spend three days quarantining in an authorized hotel upon arriving in the country.

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READ MORE: COVID-19 travel rules could be relaxed for ‘fully vaccinated’ Canadians: Trudeau

A federal advisory panel recommended getting rid of the hotel quarantine late last month given that those with the means to pay a fine can avoid the program and as case counts decline.

Countries around the world shut down their borders last year as the novel coronavirus spread.

The Canadian government barred non-essential foreign nationals and warned Canadians against non-essential travel outside the country in March 2020. Officials later adjusted the rules to require negative COVID-19 PCR tests prior to and after arrival, a period of mandatory quarantine and fines for ignoring it, and limits on which airports could accept incoming international arrivals.

In February 2021, the government also announced travellers arriving in the country would have to quarantine at their own expense in a government-authorized hotel. Only after receiving a negative COVID-19 test could they continue their total 14-day quarantine at home.

Canadians who can afford to pay a fine — initially $3,000, now $5,000 — have been able to ignore the quarantine hotel requirement. Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada suggests less than one per cent of those fined for refusing the hotel quarantine tested positive for COVID-19.

More to come.

With files from Global News.

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© 2021 The Canadian Press

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