OTTAWA – France, which has opened its borders to Canadian tourists, is eager to see Canada reopen to the French.
The Canadian border remains closed to foreigners, with a few exceptions, and will be at least until July 21. Ottawa has extended the shutdown, month after month, since the pandemic began in March 2020.
At the French embassy in Ottawa on Tuesday, the representative of the government of President Emmanuel Macron argued that the Canadian border should be reopened to the French as soon as possible.
“The borders will need to be reopened relatively quickly now so that we can get Canada back on our travel plans,” said Ambassador Kareen Rispal. “Otherwise, it is true that the French ministers will go to the countries where they can go.
Otherwise, relations between the two countries will suffer, she warned.
“The consequence of the border closure is that there are no more visits,” Rispal said. “There are no more ministers. There are no more parliamentarians. There are no more manufacturing visits. There are no more artist visits… relationships must be worked on on a daily basis, in order to nourish them.
France allows Canadians who can prove that they are fully vaccinated, or who submit a recent negative COVID-19 test and who attest to not having COVID-19 symptoms, to enter its territory.
“We are a green country,” she said, referring to the color system used by France to denote countries where the new coronavirus is under control.
“Canada is a green country. We would be very happy if the French could return to Canada without constraints other than being doubly vaccinated, taking tests, etc. We are not asking to return to Canada on a random basis.
Rispal has said she will monitor what the Canadian government does on July 21.
Whenever the border issue has been raised during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent press conferences, he has said he understands everyone’s impatience, but has noted, time and again, that the pandemic does not was not over.
The first easing of border restrictions came on July 5, when fully vaccinated Canadians were no longer required to self-quarantine upon returning home – a measure that applied to anyone already eligible to enter. in Canada, such as those who held a student visa. .
Trudeau vowed to ease border restrictions further “in the coming weeks” and added that he would not open the door “until the right time” to unvaccinated foreigners.
On Monday, Macron announced that from August, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test will be required to enter restaurants, go to concerts or take the train in France. For Canadian tourists, paper proof of vaccination will be sufficient, according to the ambassador.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 14, 2021.
Lina Dib, The Canadian Press