The Trudeau government announced on Tuesday an end to Covid vaccine mandates for domestic travel on planes and trains, outbound international trips and federally-regulated workers.
According to a government release, the vaccine mandates for travel will end as of June 20 2022.
However, the vaccine mandate for inbound international flights is still in effect. Foreign nationals coming to Canada will still be required to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated Canadians returning to Canada will still need to quarantine and provide a valid pre-entry test result.
All travellers entering Canada are still required to input their information into the ArriveCAN app within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada.
Other public health measures, such as wearing a mask, continue to apply and will be enforced throughout a traveller’s journey on a plane or train. Vaccination against Covid is still required for passengers and crew on cruise ships.
Federally-regulated workers will no longer be required to disclose their vaccination status. Despite the government reporting 98.5% of public servants are fully vaccinated, several public sector unions have come out against the government in recent weeks. Employers in federally regulated air, rail, and marine sectors will no longer be required to have mandatory vaccination policies in place for employees.
The government says they may reinstate the vaccine requirement if there’s a new variant of Covid.
The travel mandate barring unvaccinated Canadians from travelling domestically or internationally has been in effect since October 30, 2021.
As other countries around the world loosen their Covid restrictions and delays at Canada’s busiest airports continue to worsen, the Trudeau government has been under immense pressure to drop its vaccine mandates from a wide range of voices.
Travel and tourism organizations such as the Canadian Airports Council called on the government to end the mandates. In addition, WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech and former Air Canada COO Duncan Dee also questioned the government’s rules.
Opposition politicians have also demanded the government to stop enforcing its vaccine mandates. In May, Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman proposed an opposition motion to relieve processing times by ending federal travel mandates – the motion was defeated in the House of Commons 202-117.