(Ottawa) Canada will no longer require vaccination certificates for domestic and international travel, for the state-regulated transportation sector, and for federal employees, effective Monday.
Posted at 6:22
However, the Canadian government reminds that the current requirements for vaccinations at the Canadian border remain in effect as vaccination rates and control of the coronavirus vary significantly in other countries. All travelers entering Canada are therefore still required to meet entry requirements, which includes presenting a valid pre-entry test result if unvaccinated.
The government attributes the easing of rules to a drop in COVID-19 infections. Health Canada has reported a steady decline in case numbers across the country, even though provinces have stopped offering molecular testing to the public and federal counts have become less accurate.
However, a number of measures remain in effect on Monday. Therefore, the requirements for vaccinating cruise ship passengers and crew remain in place. In addition, the wearing of masks and other public health measures on planes, trains and ships will continue to be enforced.
Current border measures, including requiring most foreign nationals to be vaccinated to enter Canada and quarantine and testing requirements for Canadians who have not received their basic immunization series, remain in place.
The vaccination certificate is no longer required on trains and buses in Canada, allowing unvaccinated Canadians to travel more freely.
The change also affects federal employees who have been given unpaid leave due to their vaccination status. The government has not revealed how many staff have been furloughed but reported last week that 98.5% of officers were fully vaccinated with two doses.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada earlier this year filed a complaint against the government on behalf of civil servants who have been placed on unpaid leave, but also on behalf of teleworkers who also needed to be vaccinated or risk losing their pay to lose. Several other public sector unions have faced similar challenges.
Last week nearly 90% of Canadians over the age of 12 had received at least two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, but only about 55% had received a booster shot.