Canada will require all air, rail and marine passengers be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of October.
Canada’s minister of transportation Omar Alghabra says on 13 August that the government will also require all federal public servants to be vaccinated, and he encourages companies to follow that lead.
Airline crews and other federally regulated transportation workers will also be subject to the vaccination requirement.
“The vaccination requirement will also extend to certain travellers. This includes all commercial air travellers, passengers on intraprovincial trains, and passengers on large marine vessels with overnight accommodations such as cruise ships,” the ministry of transport adds.
Those who are “unable” to be vaccinated must be regularly tested in order to mitigate the spread of the highly contagious virus, and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, the ministry says.
The nation’s largest airline, Air Canada, welcomes the mandate, saying on 13 August that it remains committed to the development and application of safety measures that will help the air transport industry and economy recover from the 18-month crisis.
”Although Air Canada awaits further details about today’s announcement on mandatory vaccinations, it is a welcome step forward in the evolving measures to protect the health and safety of airline employees, customers and all Canadians,” the Montreal-based airline says.
Mike McNaney, cheif executive of the National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) adds that the nation’s carriers will continue to “invest in the safe restart of travel and tourism”. NACC represents the country’s largest airlines.
“Since the outset of the pandemic, Canada’s major airlines have been committed to protecting employee, passenger and public health. As we review today’s announcement in detail to fully understand the obligations being placed on the sector, we remain committed to working with the federal government and our respective labour and employee groups as we proceed with implementation of the government’s new mandatory vaccination policy for airline employees,” McNaney says.
Earlier this week, Canada introduced plans to launch a vaccine passport for citizens and permanent residents in the coming weeks.
On 11 August, the federal government of Justin Trudeau said it is collaborating with provinces and territories to develop an internationally recognised proof of vaccination “that will facilitate cross-border travel, while reducing the risk of spread and importation of Covid-19”.
The digital credential is scheduled to be available to Canadians by “early this fall”.