It’s important to always give credit when and where it’s due. The Trudeau government’s decision to impose mandatory quarantine in hotels for people entering Canada, at their own expense, is entirely correct. It should have been done a long, long time ago, and whatever benefit we might realize from the effort will be dampened for our foot-dragging.
But still. Firming up the border will provide a deterrent for those considering non-essential travel abroad, contribute to slight but real reductions in community spread, and will also provide us some extra defence against emerging variants of COVID-19. It’s not clear how much defence it will provide, to be sure — it’s possible any as yet unknown variant strains of concern are already here. But we don’t know that, and it’s better erring on the side of caution.
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Further, this is a good step because it’s a small but meaningful measure to check what is believed to be a small but meaningful contributor to the pandemic. The horse has left the barn in terms of the original strains, of course, but it was always strange to be pursuing highly restrictive policies at home while leaving our airports largely wide open. Requiring those entering Canada to quarantine in a hotel for three days, at their expense, will not be a major contributor in controlling the pandemic in Canada, but it will also not require any major effort or outlays by the government.