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U.S. government officials are suggesting American travelers “reconsider travel” to Canada this week, despite the Canadian border just reopening to vaccinated Americans slightly more than three weeks ago
Both the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued Level 3 travel warnings for Canada to signal high levels of COVID-19.
The CDC’s Level 3: Reconsider Travel is a category for countries with an incidence rate of 100-500 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days. Data from The New York Times currently shows a daily incidence rate of nine new cases. Daily totals from the World Health Organization note that case numbers ranged from 518 daily cases on Aug. 9 to 4,004 on Aug. 18, the highest number of recorded daily cases for the month.
New case trajectory is also a factor in determining CDC levels.
The Canadian government’s daily epidemiology summary reports more than 23,000 cases in the past seven days as of Aug. 31, with a daily test positive rate of 4.3%.
In the face of this so-called “fourth wave,” the Ontario province announced they would be implementing a vaccine certificate policy beginning Sept. 22, to require proof of vaccination in certain indoor settings.
“Vaccinations will be mandatory for certain indoor settings where the risk of transmission is the highest because masks aren’t always worn, including restaurants, bars and occasions among others,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in a press conference on Sept. 1, and noted that the policy will not apply to outdoor spaces, excluding nightclubs.
The vaccine passport is a temporary measure, aimed at enabling Ontario to “keep moving forward safely to protect our hard-fought progress.”
“This is a temporary tool that we won’t use for a day longer than we have to,” said Ford, but is “necessary to keep our hospitals safe and avoid another lockdown.”