Canada’s mandatory vaccination policy for air and rail travel takes effect on Saturday

Porters at Toronto Pearson International Airport

Canada’s strict vaccination policy covering airlines, airports, railways and terminals took effect on Saturday.

The policy applies to passengers and personnel of all federally regulated modes of transportation.

The measure, which came into effect on October 30 at 3 a.m., affects all Air Canada and WestJet passengers, travelers on Via Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, and all cruise ship passengers aged 12 or over. . It also applies to airline and airport employees, including concessions and hospitality workers; railway employees, including railway employees and track employees; and marine operators with Canadian vessels that operate with 12 or more crew members.

Transport for Canada first announced the policy on October 6.

The travel industry has come out strongly in favor of this move.

“Implementing this mandatory vaccination policy, in accordance with Government of Canada guidelines, will provide an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 and make our trains safer, so our passengers can continue to travel with confidence.” , said Via Rail CEO Cynthia Garneau.

Companies operating in these sectors must, after a “short period of phased introduction,” ensure that all employees are fully vaccinated and those who are not will not be allowed to work, Transport Canada said.

The only exception to the policy is for employees who, under the Canadian Human Rights Act, may have a “medical contraindication”.

In addition, transitional measures for foreign nationals who normally reside outside Canada are also in place, provided they have entered Canada before October 30. These people will be allowed to leave the country by providing proof of a negative Covid-19 molecular test during travel time.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)


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