Canada to Suspend Vaccine Mandates for Domestic Travelers and Transportation
According to the latest update by Canadian government officials that Canada is to suspend vaccine mandates for domestic and outbound travel, federally regulated sectors, and federal government employees with effect from June 20. However, they have also mentioned mask mandate still be applied. More than 90% of Canadian have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and case counts have also dropped significantly.
Currently, vaccination requirements will remain in effect at the border, as COVID-19 continues to affect the rest of the world and to mitigate the risks of the pandemic in the country. The requirements include quarantine and testing for Canadians who are not fully vaccinated. The government officials also mentioned that the vaccination requirement for passengers and other crew of ships will remain the same. Other public health precautions like wearing a mask will continue on plains and trains.
The federal government of Canada mentions that they can re-impose vaccine mandates again if the health situation calls for it. Travellers are required to be fully vaccinated to access Canadian federal modes of transport since October 30, 2021, with some flexibility of a month following wherein unvaccinated travelers can show a negative COVID-19 test. The transport minister of Canada said in one of his interviews that this measure was taken to keep travelers and employees in the industry safe.
Although, with the rise of the Omicron variant, health experts are raising questions on the effectiveness of vaccine mandates for travel. Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer mentioned that it is more infectious and would require the third booster dose for complete protection. To be fully vaccinated, travellers continue to get two-dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.
The federal government of Canada will be suspending random COVID-19 testing at all the airports between Saturday, June 11, and Thursday, June 30, 2022, to overcome congestion. However, unvaccinated travellers will be still tested on-site. From July 1, all testing will be performed off-site.