Changes to Canada’s COVID-19 border rules remain a work in progress for children, top doctor says

OTTAWA — How new COVID-19 measures at the Canadian border will apply to children who are not old enough to be vaccinated remains in a work in progress, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday.Earlier this week, the federal government announced mandatory quarantines could end as soon as July for fully vaccinated people who are eligible to enter Canada, if case counts and other COVID-19 health metrics continue on a positive trend and the pace of vaccinations increases.But COVID-19 vaccines are currently approved in Canada only for people over the age of 12, and when younger children will be eligible remains unclear.Under the current rules, those arriving in Canada must take COVID-19 test before their departure and one upon arrival in Canada, and then quarantine for 14 days. If they’re arriving by air, the first three days of that quarantine must be spent in a government-approved hotel.The new approach would require a test before departing for Canada and another upon arrival, then a quarantine only until receiving a negative result from the second test. The new rules would only apply for those who have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that’s approved for use in Canada.Tam said the government has no intention of separate children from their families at the border, and that protocols will be developed to account for groups in which not everyone is able to be fully vaccinated.She also noted that children still seem to become less ill from COVID-19 than adults, and also don’t play as significant role in transmission.Stephanie Levitz is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @StephanieLevitz

Changes to Canada’s COVID-19 border rules remain a work in progress for children, top doctor says

OTTAWA — How new COVID-19 measures at the Canadian border will apply to children who are not old enough to be vaccinated remains in a work in progress, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Friday.

Earlier this week, the federal government announced mandatory quarantines could end as soon as July for fully vaccinated people who are eligible to enter Canada, if case counts and other COVID-19 health metrics continue on a positive trend and the pace of vaccinations increases.

But COVID-19 vaccines are currently approved in Canada only for people over the age of 12, and when younger children will be eligible remains unclear.

Under the current rules, those arriving in Canada must take COVID-19 test before their departure and one upon arrival in Canada, and then quarantine for 14 days.

If they’re arriving by air, the first three days of that quarantine must be spent in a government-approved hotel.

The new approach would require a test before departing for Canada and another upon arrival, then a quarantine only until receiving a negative result from the second test. The new rules would only apply for those who have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that’s approved for use in Canada.

Tam said the government has no intention of separate children from their families at the border, and that protocols will be developed to account for groups in which not everyone is able to be fully vaccinated.

She also noted that children still seem to become less ill from COVID-19 than adults, and also don’t play as significant role in transmission.

Stephanie Levitz is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @StephanieLevitz