OTTAWA – COVID-19 Update – The Canadian government has announced that, as of June 20, the government will suspend vaccination requirements for domestic and outbound travel, federally regulated transportation sectors and federal government employees.
The Treasury Board in a news release says, “Following a successful vaccination campaign, 32 million (or nearly 90%) of eligible Canadians have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and case counts have decreased. Canadians have stepped up to protect themselves and the people around them, and rates of hospitalization and deaths are also decreasing across the country, and Canada has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world.
“Vaccination continues to be one of the most effective tools to protect Canadians, including younger Canadians, our health care system and our economy. Everyone in Canada needs to keep up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including booster doses to get ready for the fall. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces and territories to help even more Canadians get the shots for which they are eligible”.
Throughout the pandemic, the Government of Canada’s response has been informed by expert advice and sound science and research. As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, so too have public health measures and advice, which includes vaccination requirements that were always meant to be a temporary measure.
While the suspension of vaccine mandates reflects an improved public health situation in Canada, the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve and circulate in Canada and globally. Given this context, and because vaccination rates and virus control in other countries varies significantly, 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. 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.
- As of 00:01 EDT on June 20, 2022, the vaccination requirement to board a plane or a train in Canada will be suspended.
- In addition, federally regulated transport sector employers will no longer be required to have mandatory vaccination policies in place for employees.
- Due to the unique nature of cruise ship travel, vaccination requirements for passengers and crew of cruise ships will continue to remain in effect.
- Masking and other public health protection measures will continue to be in place and enforced on planes, trains, and ships.
- Current border measures, including the existing vaccination requirement for most foreign nationals to enter Canada, and quarantine and testing requirements for Canadians who have not received their primary vaccine series, remain in effect.
- Also on June 20, the Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination for the Core Public Administration (CPA) Including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be suspended.
- Employees of the CPA will be strongly encouraged to remain up to date with their vaccinations; however, they will no longer be required to be vaccinated as a condition of employment.
- As such, employees who are on administrative leave without pay for noncompliance with the Policy in force until now will be contacted by their managers to arrange their return to regular work duties.
Crown corporations and separate agencies will also be asked to suspend vaccine requirements, and the vaccination requirement for supplier personnel accessing federal government workplaces will also be suspended. With the suspension of vaccination requirements, employees placed on unpaid leave may return to work. The government and other employers will ensure that these employees can resume their duties as seamlessly as possible.
Furthermore, the Government of Canada is no longer moving forward with proposed regulations under Part II (Occupational Health and Safety) of the Canada Labour Code to make vaccination mandatory in all federally regulated workplaces.
The Government of Canada will not hesitate to make adjustments based on the latest public health advice and science to keep Canadians safe. This could include an up-to-date vaccination mandate at the border, the reimposition of public service and transport vaccination mandates, and the introduction of vaccination mandates in federally regulated workplaces in the fall, if needed.
“Throughout this pandemic, our government’s approach has been rooted in close collaboration with our provincial and territorial partners. We all have a role to play in keeping Canadians safe. Our government will continue to make decisions based on the best public health advice and adjust its measures accordingly.”
– The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
“The mandatory vaccination requirement successfully mitigated the full impact of COVID-19 for travellers and workers in the transportation sector and provided broader protection to our communities. Suspending this requirement is possible thanks to the tens of millions of Canadians who did the right thing: they stepped up, rolled up their sleeves, and got vaccinated. This action will support Canada’s transportation system as we recover from the pandemic.”
– The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport of Canada
“As the country’s largest employer, the Government has led by example to help protect the health and safety of the federal workforce, as well as those in the federally regulated travel sector. We are now in a much better place across Canada, and vaccination mandates helped us to get there. As we move forward, we will continue to take action to keep public servants safe, and all employees are strongly encouraged to keep their vaccinations current so they get all recommended doses.”
– The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board
“While the suspension of vaccine mandates reflects an improved public health situation in Canada, the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve and circulate in Canada and globally. The science is also perfectly clear on one thing: vaccination remains the single most effective way to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our economy against COVID-19. We don’t know what we may or may not face come autumn, but we know that we must remain prudent, which is why our government continues to strongly encourage everyone in Canada to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes recommended booster doses.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health