Long-awaited reunions as Canada reopens to international travelers

September 7, 2021

It had been almost five months since Vince Cumayas had seen his daughter Valentina, who is now 18 months old.
“I’ve missed that whole important time of her growing,” Cumayas said, holding a dozen roses in his left hand and excitedly casting his eyes to the right at the exit for international arrivals at Vancouver International Airport on Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m very excited to see my daughter and my wife again,” Cumayas said, and he was soon rewarded as the three reunited beyond the ropes that cordon off 45 COVID-19 testing booths in the lobby outside the arrivals gate.

Tuesday was a slow day compared to what passenger traffic would have looked like at the same time of day two years ago.

But it was the first day travellers on overseas flights could return to Canada for discretionary travel and, provided they are vaccinated or pass tests upon both departure from their foreign starting point and again on landing, were allowed in the country without having to quarantine.

Easing restrictions began in August when U.S. citizens who are fully vaccinated began being allowed in without needing to quarantine.

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