Seniors calling to end requirement for pre-departure PCR test to ensure travel is affordable and accessible for all
TORONTO, Oct. 28, 2021 /CNW/ - Together with the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable ("The Roundtable"), seniors from across Canada are calling on the federal government to remove unnecessary and non-science-based obstacles to cross-border travel, such as the pre-departure PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers, that is disproportionately impacting senior citizens.
Travel is becoming increasingly difficult to reach for the average Canadian senior. The burdensome cost of a PCR test can add over $200 CAD per person. This policy was intended to be temporary and is counter to the recommendations made by the federal government's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel Report ("The Expert Panel") in May of this year.
Many countries have recognized that requiring pre-departure and arrival tests for vaccinated travellers is redundant and have exempted fully vaccinated travellers from testing requirements, including France, Portugal, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Although many had travel bookings lined up over the November-December period, the travel and tourism industry is bracing for cancellations.
The pandemic, vaccination status, and available science have changed; so too should the response and measures to keep Canadians safe while allowing the travel and tourism industry to re-open.
"As the voice of more than 115,000 members, the Canadian Snowbird Association is concerned about the burden on Canadian travellers incurring high testing costs to travel. Based on science, other countries have removed testing for vaccinated travellers, making travel more accessible and far less cost prohibitive."
- Michael MacKenzie
Executive Director of the Canadian Snowbird Association
"Bookings are on the rise, but the travel and tourism industry is bracing for cancellations. Confusion around the rules, the border and testing is creating an environment of uncertainty for travellers, especially for Seniors. It's time for the rules to keep up with developments in science that will keep Seniors safe while allowing them to travel."
- Wendy Paradis
President of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies
"Seniors have been isolated at home away from family, friends and the world. As travel opens up we need to make sure that seniors are not left out - again. As Canada's national seniors advocacy organization we are calling for a streamlined vaccine-passport approach, rather than creating costly additional barriers to travel especially in our upcoming holiday season."
- Jana Ray
Chief Operating Officer of CanAge
"As we enter this new phase of the pandemic, once characterized by mass-vaccination and low-case counts, travel should have been up and running. In pre-pandemic times, Senior travel accounted for about 35 percent of international Canadian travel – and that does not even include the United States. This market just simply has not returned."
- Lorraine Simpson
Founder of Lorraine Simpson Travels
About the Canadian Tourism Roundtable
The Canadian Tourism Roundtable is a cross-Canadian coalition of leaders in the tourism and travel sector – including representatives from airports, airlines, hotels, and chambers of commerce across the country – committed to working together to restart the sector smoothly and safely. Travel and Tourism is a $102 billion sector, employing millions of Canadians across the country and accounting for 2.1% of the country's gross domestic product. It advocates for a safe and prosperous tourism and travel sector across Canada.
SOURCE Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable
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