Quebec urges to cancel PCR tests for foreign tourists
The requirement for a PCR test by foreign travelers visiting Canada causes irreparable damage to the Quebec tourism industry. This was announced at the end of the joint meeting by representatives of the tourism and entertainment industry of this French-speaking Canadian province.
They called on the Federal government of Canada to abolish the requirement of PCR testing for foreign tourists who received two doses of the country's recognized Western vaccines.
Earlier, former Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley expressed his support for this.
According to representatives of the Quebec hospitality industry, strict anti-covid measures introduced by Ottawa let to the fact that many industry workers were on the verge of survival due to the small number of tourists.
"PCR testing causes irreparable damage to Quebec enterprises and major events held on its territory," said Marjolene De Sa, General Director of the Quebec Hotels Association.
Currently, all foreign tourists entering Canada are required to provide a negative result of a recently passed molecular test for COVID-19.
If the demands of the authorities are not relaxed, the Quebec tourism industry fears that the winter tourist season will turn into a disaster.
"It struck me that the teams we are used to seeing don't come to us. It is clear that the brake is a PCR test. To come to us, they need to do this expensive test," complained the CEO of the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament Patrick Dom.
Usually up to fifty teams from the USA take part in this tournament. This year there will be at most about forty of them. Meanwhile, the number of participants from Europe and Asia has halved - from 30 to 15.
The Government of Canada has nevertheless relaxed the anti-weed restrictions, but not for foreigners. In particular, the government canceled the requirement to pass a PCR test for Canadians who make a trip to the United States lasting no more than 72 hours and received both doses of vaccination.
"These changes open the door in one direction, allowing Canadians to leave the country, while at the same time deterring foreign travelers from visiting it," the participants of the Canadian round table on travel and tourism said in a statement.
Canadian Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos, for his part, said that he understands the concerns of representatives of the Quebec tourism industry. However, according to him, the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection is far from over, which is confirmed by the increase in the number of cases of diseases in a number of countries, and for this reason, precautions should be taken.
"I understand their (industry representatives') problems very well. I especially understand them as a deputy from the district of Quebec, which is one of the main tourist centers of the country. Nevertheless, we are still in the state of a pandemic, and its scale is more serious outside of Canada and Quebec. In the USA, the situation is four times more serious in proportion to the number of the population. In the UK it is 10 times worse, in Belgium it is 20 times worse," the Internet resource lapresse.ca quotes the minister as saying.
Meanwhile, CBC News reported that the Canadian government may soon waive the requirement to pass a PCR test for vaccinated Canadians and persons with permanent residence permits who return to the country from short-term trips abroad. Before the New Year holidays, Canadians traditionally go abroad for shopping.
The changes are expected to take effect at the end of November.
Currently, when staying in another country for three days or more, Canadians are required to pass a PCR test for coronavirus no earlier than 72 hours before returning to Canada.
It costs 150-300 Canadian dollars. At the same time, many complain that they have to wait for the test results for more than a day.