As Canada moves further and further away from the COVID-19 pandemic, more mandates to protect residents from the virus are ending, specifically for international travellers and workers in federally regulated industries.
Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced last week that the federal government would ‘suspend’ COVID-19 vaccine mandates for domestic and outbound international travellers, transport workers and federally regulated workers, effective today.
This means that you no longer have to be vaccinated to board a plane or train in Canada, federally regulated transport employees will no longer be required to be vaccinated, but masking requirements on all modes of transportation remain in effect, as will vaccination requirements on cruise ships.
Although, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc warns the government is prepared to ‘bring back necessary policies’ if there's a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall, which healthcare experts are predicting.
“Our ally nations have removed their restrictions and they’re moving forward, as are the provinces in Canada, so this is certainly welcome news,” said Kenora MP Eric Melillo, in an interview with the Q Morning Show.
“But I do think it’s a bit of a half-measure,” Melillo adds. “We’re still going to have some mandates in place for foreign nationals. There's still going to be mask mandates in the transport sector, yet nowhere else in Canada. Those entering Canada must still use the ArriveCan app. That’s been difficult for many. There’s still a long way to go.”
All travellers continue to be required to submit their mandatory information in the ArriveCAN app or website before their arrival in Canada. Travellers taking a cruise or a plane must submit their information within 72 hours before boarding.
Those who do not may have to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status. Previously, not completing the ArriveCAN app lead to you not being allowed entry into the country.
The federal government notes that any federal employees who are on administrative leave without pay due to noncompliance with a mandatory vaccination policy will be contacted by their managers to arrange their return to regular work duties.