Media Releases May 05, 2021

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Governments need a travel restart strategy now. Don’t wait after COVID to plan


(OTTAWA) – May 5, 2021 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce wants Canadian governments to set out their plans for safely restarting travel, including for how health credentials will be used.

“Other countries are announcing their plans now because they understand businesses and travelers need lead time to prepare, yet our strategy remains a mystery. The success or failure of our recovery will depend on what we do now. The better we plan today, the more efficiently businesses can implement new procedures when the time comes, and the faster our recovery will be. But we are still waiting,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber, Canada’s largest business association.

“One important catalyst of our recovery is travel and mobility. Connecting Canadians and goods to growth opportunities and making participation in large events safe again is critical for Canadians to live more normal lives. Although large events and widespread travel may not yet be possible, we need to be ready for the first day of reopening and not still be preparing guidelines months after they are needed,” added Beatty.    

The Canadian Chamber outlined key elements that need to be included in any strategy, including clear metrics for targeted travel restrictions, coherent rules across all modes of transportation, and replacing broad quarantine measures with regulations based on a combination of testing, vaccination and other measures to protect public health.

The Canadian Chamber noted that the world is adopting new systems to document travelers’ health status, including digital vaccination certification. Canada needs to accelerate its efforts to catch up and to enable a speedy and safe resumption of economic activity.

“As hundreds of thousands of jobs have hung in the balance, travel restrictions have created serious problems for professionals and businesses since the start of the pandemic. The impact reaches far beyond tourism. Not all activities can be virtual, and the ability to undertake business development or provide critical technical services has been severely restricted. Other countries understand that current travel restrictions are not sustainable, and we need to keep pace with our international partners. That can’t happen without a plan,” added Beatty.

For more information about the Canadian Chamber guidelines, click here.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor
ptaylor@chamber.ca (preferred and fastest response time)