Canada to suspend Covid vaccine mandate for domestic, outbound travel

Ottawa: The Canadian federal government has announced that it will suspend vaccination requirements against Covid for domestic and outbound travel, federally regulated transportation sectors and federal government employees as of June 20.

According to a news release jointly issued by the federal government departments on Tuesday, current vaccination requirements at the border will remain in effect.

“This will reduce the potential impact of international travel on our health care system and serve as added protection against any future variant,” the news release said, adding that other public health measures, such as wearing a mask, continue to apply and will be enforced throughout a traveller’s journey on a plane or train.

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This policy change will allow unvaccinated Canadians to board planes, trains, and busses heading to either domestic or international locations, but they will still be required to the current testing and quarantine requirements upon re-entry from international destinations, Xinhua news agency reported.

Vaccine requirements for entry into Canada by foreign nationals remain unchanged. Foreign nationals who are not fully vaccinated continue to be prohibited entry into Canada. With the suspension of the domestic mandate, unvaccinated foreign nationals will continue to be able to depart Canada by plane or train, according to the new policy.

A total of 32 million, or nearly 90 per cent, of eligible Canadians have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and case counts have decreased. Hospitalisation and death rates are also decreasing across the country, the release said.

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