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Mandatory Quarantine

June 28, 2021

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

Leader, I’m sure you’ll be happy to see that I’m returning to questions about vaccines and quarantines. I’m sure you’ve missed them.

I want to return to the recent questions posed to you about Canadians entering the United States without quarantine once border restrictions are lifted.

Leader, on June 4, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated:

Individuals who have received one dose of Pfizer-BioNTech [or Moderna] COVID-19 Vaccine should receive a second dose of [the same] . . . Vaccine to complete the vaccination series.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has issued a similar statement, as I mentioned previously.

Leader, you said last week that you would make inquiries, and I think I asked that we have an answer this week. I’d like to know what you found out, because there are people all across Canada who will want to know the answer to this question: Will the United States allow Canadians who are vaccinated with two different mRNA vaccines to enter their country without quarantine, yes or no?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Senator, I have made inquiries, but I have not received the answer. I understand the preoccupation and the concerns of Canadians.

According to the Canadian health advice the government is getting, the use of Pfizer and Moderna, to cite the two vaccines, is a safe and efficient way to maximize our protection, so I encourage Canadians to take that option if it is offered to them. The Government of Canada is in constant contact with its counterparts in the United States on those and border issues more generally, and they will continue their discussions. As soon as I have an answer, I’ll report back.

Leader, I’m happy you think it is acceptable to have those two different doses and you think it’s perfectly safe. Unfortunately, the United States of America doesn’t seem to agree with you, and that’s the important issue here.

Leader, both Senator Marty Deacon and I have raised with you whether Canadians who received the AstraZeneca vaccine will be permitted to enter the United States without quarantine. Ten days ago, the Prime Minister acknowledged that this issue was not resolved.

Leader, would the Prime Minister have time to come out of his cottage and answer this question for the Canadians who received AstraZeneca? Do you have an answer, or would the Prime Minister provide us with one?

Senator Gold [ + ]

Senator, I don’t have an answer to that question. Again, these are matters that the government is pursuing with its counterparts in the United States. When that has been resolved between our two sovereign governments, the answer will be shared with Canadians.

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