Easing of COVID-related testing and other measures to significantly impact tourism recovery
As COVID-19 entry requirements lift later this week, tourism organizations on both sides of the border are applauding the Government of Canada’s decision to remove travel restrictions including testing, proof of vaccination status, quarantine and isolation planning.
With three land border crossings connecting South Eastern Ontario to the U.S. Thousand Islands and Upstate New York regions, the easing of restrictions is a step in the right direction for businesses that rely on cross-border traffic.
“We are excited to learn that travel restrictions will finally ease for cross-border travellers. This is wonderful news for our destinations in South Eastern Ontario,” said Bonnie Ruddock, Executive Director, Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO 9), South Eastern Ontario. “With three land border crossings in our region - Massena-Cornwall International Bridge in Cornwall, Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge in Johnston and the 1000 Islands Bridge in the heart of the 1000 Islands - we hope to be able to resume cross-border travel to pre-pandemic levels.”
“The removal of these travel restrictions is very much welcomed and appreciated with Black Friday and holiday shopping looming. This is a significant step toward rebuilding international visitation and reuniting our border towns,” said Corey Fram, Director of Tourism, 1000 Islands International Tourism Council.
Effective October 1, 2022, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website, provide proof of vaccination, undergo pre or on-arrival testing, carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation, or monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada.
Transport Canada is also removing existing travel requirements, meaning travellers will no longer be required to undergo health checks for travel on air and rail; or wear masks on planes and trains.
Cruise measures are also being lifted, and travellers will no longer be required to have pre-board tests, be vaccinated, or use ArriveCAN. A set of guidelines will remain to protect passengers and crew, which will align with the approach used in the United States.
Further information and the official Government of Canada update can be found here.
All travellers are being reminded to make informed decisions when travelling outside of Canada and are encouraged to review the travel and health notices at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.
About RTO 9
RTO 9 is a regional tourism organization established in 2010 that is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries. RTO 9 actively promotes tourism for the South Eastern Ontario region and works to support and grow the tourism industry through marketing, product development, investment attraction and workforce development initiatives.