Dear Members,

A top priority for the Hotel Association of Canada is to press the Federal Government for a re-open plan for our international borders.
Several weeks ago, the Government commissioned a panel of experts to provide advice on how this could be done. HAC was invited to appear and provide recommendations. 
Last Friday, the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel issued its report, Priority strategies to optimize testing and quarantine at Canada’s borders. The report outlines evidence-based recommendations to safely reopen the Canadian border with focused testing and quarantine protocols, and is consistent with HAC’s recommendations.
Of note, the panel recommends linking border measures to specific metrics such as the vaccination rate as Canada moves to re-open and proposes several immediate measures for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, vaccinated, previously infected, and exempt travellers. For more details on how this would work, please click here. The report also recommends the discontinuation of the requirement for all air travellers to quarantine in a Government-Authorized Accommodation when awaiting the results of a PCR test. 
Today, in response, the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) issued a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encouraging the government to implement the recommendations in this report and release a detailed and evidence-based plan to safely reopen Canada to travel. 
This ask was echoed by the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, of which HAC is a member, through a joint press release issued today, once again urging the federal government to lay out an implementation plan based on the recommendations made in the Expert Advisory Panel Report. 
HAC supports the proposed recommendations, and we are encouraging the government to follow the advice of its experts to:
  • Eliminate the government hotel quarantine for all travellers;
  • Eliminate pre-departure tests and quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers;
  • Reduce quarantine for partially vaccinated travellers (after a test upon arrival) and unvaccinated travellers (after a test taken at day 7);
  • Amend border measures in stages; and,
  • Put in place a system to validate proof of vaccination for arriving travellers as soon as possible.

With Canada and the world now dramatically increasing vaccination rates, we are optimistic that an international reopening could be feasible this Summer. However, the phased reopening processes recommended in this report will take time to implement. It is critical that a plan be published ahead of time to give the industry time to ramp up, rehire and prepare for international visitors, and ensure a safe and successful restart.
We will share more on this work as it develops.