The lifting of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for travellers in Canada comes as cases are declining and people are preparing to return to international travel.
Beginning Monday, June 20, the Canadian federal government is dropping the requirement that domestic and outbound international travellers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Re-entry requirements will remain in effect.
This change will allow unvaccinated Canadians to board planes and trains heading to either domestic or international locations, but they will still be required to follow the current testing and quarantine requirements upon re-entry from international destinations. Travellers on federally regulated planes, trains and ships will also have to continue wearing masks.
Vaccination requirements for passengers and crew of cruise ships will remain in effect, as will the requirement to use the ArriveCAN app to show proof of vaccination upon arrival to avoid a federal quarantine.
All travellers will need to abide by other country’s entry requirements, which may limit the locations unvaccinated travellers will be permitted to visit. Nearly 90 per cent of eligible Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19.
Last week the government ended its mandatory random testing of vaccinated travellers at airports. Incoming foreigners, however, will still have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they hope to enter the country, while unvaccinated Canadians must continue to follow quarantine guidelines upon arrival.
The suspension was announced Tuesday by Dominic LeBlanc, Trudeau’s minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities. The changes arrive as travellers express frustration over hours-long delays at Canadian airports, especially in Toronto. However, LeBlanc insisted the announcement had nothing to do with wait times, stating that staffing shortages at airports are to blame for the delays. “The adjustments we’re making today are based on science and they will not have an impact immediately on these airport delays,” he said.
The government also announced that it would remove vaccine requirements for federal transportation workers and core public servants.
For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.