By the end of the month, all Canadians will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to travel on planes, trains, and marine vessels.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the details of his government’s vaccine mandate in a press conference held earlier today. The policy will include mandatory vaccination requirements for all federal employees, all airline and railway staff working for federally regulated carriers, as well as all travelers aged 12 and up.
Beginning October 30th, travelers boarding flights at Canadian airports or traveling on the VIA Rail or Rocky Mountaineer trains must show proof of full vaccination prior to departure. The policy also includes all cruise ship travelers on non-essential passenger vessels in Canada. This applies to travelers for all domestic and international travel.
Extends To All Airline And Airport Staff
Full vaccination will also be required of workers in the transportation industry. The policy outlines that all companies regulated by the Canadian government must guarantee that all employees be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated workers will be terminated from their jobs. This includes all airline and airport staff, as well as individuals who work at restaurants and stores in the post-security area at the airport.
Also included in the policy are all rail crew and track employees working for federally regulated railways. All marine operators with Canadian vessels must also guarantee that workers have received their vaccinations against the virus.
Policy Includes All Federal Employees
The new mandate states that all federal employees and government workers, including the RCMP, be fully vaccinated by the end of the month and report their vaccination status by October 29th. Individuals must apply for a medical or religious exemption by the end of the month at the latest.
Any unvaccinated employees will be prohibited to go to work, either in person or in a remote setting, and will be put on “administrative leave” without pay. Those individuals will also not qualify for Employment Insurance (EI)
All workers included in this mandate will have to sign what’s called an attestation form, confirming that they’ve been fully vaccinated against Covid rather than showing their vaccination proof card. Managers can however ask for proof of vaccination at any time.
Interprovincial Travel And Proof Of Vaccination
When asked about how proof of vaccination will work for interprovincial travel, the Prime Minister said that the federal government is “working with provinces across the country on proofs of vaccination. And we are working to standardize them so that they are available to people to travel internationally in a unified format that will allow for that.”
Because vaccination records are only at the provincial level and not the federal, some sort of system must be put in place in order for travelers to easily mark that they are vaccinated before embarking on a trip. The Prime Minister clarified that, “the work that we’re doing right now with provinces across the country on proofs of vaccination will be beneficial for restaurants and gyms but also will help for international and domestic travel.”
Plans To Streamline Check-In Process For Domestic And International Travel
When it comes to checking in at the airport for international or domestic travel, plans are currently in the works for the process to be simplified. In regards to this, the PM explained that the government is working with the nation’s major carriers to “integrate the proof of vaccination digital codes into their online booking process so that when you print out your boarding pass, either at the airport or in advance, there will be a clearly marked proof of vaccination thumbs up or checkmark so that the gate agent does not have to be checking documentation.”
Today’s announcement follows an update made by Canada’s Transport Minister Omar Alghabra back in August about vaccine requirements for domestic travel.
In his statement, Alghabra warned Canadians that “As soon as possible in the fall and no later than the end of October, the Government of Canada will require employees in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to be vaccinated. The vaccination requirement will also extend to certain travelers. This includes all commercial air travelers.”
‘No Time For Half Measures’, Says PM
“These travel measures, along with mandatory vaccination for federal employees, are some of the strongest in the world because when it comes to keeping you and your family safe, when it comes to avoiding lockdowns for everyone, this is no time for half measures.”
Negative Test Results Will Be Accepted From October 30 to November 30 In A Short Transition Phase
According to the policy details, there will be a one-month transition period from October 30th to November 30th, where travelers can show a negative PCR test (no later than 72 hours before travel) instead of proof of vaccination. However, after November 30th only proof of full vaccination will be accepted in order to board all passenger planes, trains, and marine vessels throughout Canada.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories