As most provinces begin to live without COVID-19 restrictions and masks, Kenora MP, Eric Melillo believes the federal government should follow suit.
“I believe it’s time for the federal government to follow the evidence and follow the lead of the provinces and lift the mandates,” said Melillo.
Currently, proof of vaccination and masks are still required to travel by plane or by train for those aged 12 and over. The federal mandate has been in effect since the end of November 2021.
Additionally, federal workers and Canadian Armed Forces members have been required since October 29, 2021, to be fully vaccinated.
“We think it’s time we open things back up completely,” added Melillo.
The federal government announced on March 17, 2022 that effective April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land, or water.
Previously, vaccinated travellers had to take a pre-arrival rapid antigen test no more than one day before their scheduled flight or arrival, which had to be administered by a lab or a pharmacy. Before that, travellers had to show proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their departure or arrival.
The federal government has yet to announce its plan to end all federal COVID-19 mandates.
On March 21, 2022, Ontario removed its mask mandate, which was the last mandate left in the province after removing the remaining public health restrictions such as capacity limits and proof of vaccination back on March 1, 2022.
“Provinces have been moving forward with removing restrictions as are the nations around the world. These decisions are made on the advice and the evidence from health officers in their respected jurisdiction.”
Masks will remain in hospitals, long-term care homes, congregate care settings, and public transit. But these settings will all be able to remove their mask mandates by April 27, 2022.
As of March 29, 2022, all but three provinces have lifted their COVID-19 restrictions and their mask mandates. Those three are the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Prince Edward Island.
Saskatchewan was the first province to ax its mask mandate along with all remaining public health orders on the morning of February 28, 2022. Alberta was right behind Saskatchewan ending their mask mandate a day later on March 1, 2022.
British Columbia followed suit and ended its mask mandate on March 11, 2022, just a day after being announced.
Quebec lifted its mask mandates in schools on Monday (March 14, 2022), with plans to eventually remove all remaining mask mandates at a later date.
Like Quebec, New Brunswick lifted its mask mandate for indoor public settings on Monday as well (March 14, 2022); a plan that Newfoundland and Labrador are expected to follow.
Tuesday (March 15, 2022), marked the day for the province of Manitoba to end its mask requirements and all other restrictions, with the exception of masking in long-term care homes.
The province of Nova Scotia lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on March 21, 2022.