Canada will require all air, train, cruise passengers and crew members traveling on commercial transport to present proof of coronavirus vaccination beginning in October.
“Canadians deserve to feel confident, when traveling, that the environment around them is safe,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra. “We need to regain public confidence in travel” to help the industry recover from the economic losses caused by the pandemic in the transport and tourism sectors, he added.
This requirement will also be extended to interprovincial trains and passengers on large maritime vessels with overnight accommodation.
Those who have documented medical reasons for not being vaccinated will need to agree to various tests and other restrictions.
The government also announced that it expects companies in other sectors regulated by the federal government to also require their employees to be vaccinated.
Positive reactions to this new mandate were immediate. Shortly after the announcement, Air Canada commended the government for this science-based decision that will allow them to provide travelers with a safer travel experience.
“While Air Canada is awaiting more details on today’s announcement of mandatory vaccines, it is a welcome step in the evolution of measures to protect the health and safety of airline employees, customers and all Canadians,” says the communicated.
With over 71% of eligible citizens over 12 years of age fully vaccinated, Canada is “almost” ready to fully reopen its economy.
The combination of smart negotiations, financial strength and popular trust in public health institutions played a role in preventing the deadly fourth wave of coronaviruses its southern neighbors are currently facing.
However, like other nations, Canada began to experience a slowdown in vaccination numbers.
Months ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed that vaccination requirements would not be necessary. Until they do.
Last Friday, the government presented this revised position as “an evolution of government posture” to encourage Canadians to be attacked.
“Canadians don’t want to go back to travel restrictions (…) and you know it’s not uncommon for the government to play a regulatory role with regard to protecting the general health and safety of Canadians,” said Omar Alghabra, Minister of the transport from Canada on Friday.
While the data suggests that Canada’s international travel would not be affected by this broad new policy, its American counterpart might be.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told CNN that a similar requirement for airline passengers is not being considered.
“There isn’t at the moment,” Mayorkas said when pressed to discuss the matter.