Vaccination mandates in Canada for domestic and international travel, as well as for federally regulated workers, temporarily ended on Monday.
The federal government announced last week that COVID-19 vaccine mandates would be suspended for domestic travel on planes and trainsas well as all outgoing international travelers as of June 20th.
Quarantine and testing requirements remain in place for unvaccinated Canadians returning to Canada. Travelers still need to complete the health questionnaire via the ArriveCan app on arrival.
The mask mandate for travelers also remains in effect. Mandatory vaccination still applies to cruise ships and foreigners entering Canada.
The requirement for passengers departing Canadian airports and those wishing to travel domestically on a train or plane to present proof of vaccination was in effect as of October 30, 2021.
As of Monday, the government will also suspended COVID-19 vaccine mandates for federally regulated workersincluding those in the public service, the RCMP, as well as transport workers, including truck drivers.
Crown corporations and other agencies are also being asked to step down from their mandates.
Federals say decision is not based on airport delays, but mandates may return
The changes come amid long lines due to staff shortages at Canada’s airports, with many travelers expressing their frustrations with delays in recent months as travel recovers after a pandemic hiatus.
However, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the decision to withdraw the mandate was not based on the situation at airports, but “based on science”.
Lifting vaccination requirements for federally regulated workers will allow airline and airport employees on unpaid leave to return to work.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said they are making this change now because the context of the pandemic has changed since its arrival in 2020.
“We now benefit from improved levels of immunity from both vaccination and infection, increased availability of antiviral drugs, and/or decreased hospitalization rates,” he said.
LeBlanc warned that the government could “bring back” mandates if the virus situation changes.
With archives by Patricia D’Cunha and Lucas Casaletto
Surveying post-vaccine mandates for Canadian travelers, federal officials first appeared in CityNews Winnipeg.