(Ottawa) Fully vaccinated Canadians have been excluded from new measures that will exempt American and European travelers from quarantine upon arrival in England and Scotland from Monday.
The English and Scottish governments announced on Wednesday that fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and Europe will no longer need to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. These changes will take effect on the night of August 2nd.
The two governments have not given reasons for excluding Canada from these facilities. Meanwhile, the other two countries that make up the United Kingdom – Wales and Northern Ireland – have not relaxed their existing rules.
European countries that would benefit from exceptions in England and Scotland include EU member states, excluding France, members of the European Free Trade Agreement and the small states of Andorra, Monaco and the Vatican.
The British High Commission in Canada said in a statement that London is taking a “step-by-step approach” in easing travel restrictions linked to COVID-19. “Ensuring safe and open travel is a priority, and we are cooperating with international partners to obtain certifications to ensure that travel of those vaccinated is not impeded in the future,” the UNHCR said.
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the new measures were aimed at helping family members visit each other, but also to boost trade. Shapps said his government will continue to use the latest scientific evidence.
“But thanks to our first national immunization programme, we are able to look to the future and begin to rebuild the major transatlantic routes with the United States while strengthening relations with our European neighbours.”
Scottish Transport Minister Michael Matheson said in a statement that the changes were made possible by the success of vaccination programs in Scotland, the European Union and the United States.
He explained that “travelers who are fully vaccinated will be able to travel to Scotland as part of this important facilitation of international travel procedures, giving a boost to the tourism sector, and the economy in general, while ensuring the protection of public health.”
England and Scotland made it clear that quarantine rules would still apply to any traveler who had been in France in the previous 10 days. Scotland has indicated concerns about the spread of the beta variant.
When asked about it in Vancouver on Wednesday, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said she respects those decisions. “I have great respect for each country’s sovereign right to decide, during the COVID pandemic, who can enter and under what circumstances.”
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