Ottawa, Ontario (CNN) Canada will require most commercial passengers traveling by air, train or larger ships to be fully vaccinated by the fall.
Canada’s Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said during a virtual press conference on Friday that the vaccination requirement “includes all commercial air travelers, passengers on inter-provincial trains, and passengers on large ocean-going vessels with overnight accommodations such as cruise ships”. “.
Canadian ministers who spoke at the press conference said they wanted to “set an example” for other employers and Canadians as they continue to try to safely reopen other sectors of the economy.
“While Air Canada awaits more details regarding today’s announcement regarding mandatory vaccinations, it is a welcome step forward in developing measures to protect the health and safety of airline employees, customers and all Canadians,” the statement said.
The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mallorca, told CNN on Friday that the United States Department of Homeland Security is not considering imposing vaccinations on passengers on domestic flights.
“It’s not there at this point,” he said, pushing the matter.
At least two American Airlines executives said they did not expect vaccinations to be needed for domestic travel.
Kirby said vaccinations may be required for some international flights.
The “evolution” of compulsory vaccination
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said over the past few months that he does not believe vaccine mandates will be necessary.
His ministers withdrew their position on Friday, saying their position “evolved to the government’s position” in light of new scientific data, adding that this new policy motivates Canadians to vaccinate.
Ministers said those with documented medical reasons were excused for refusing to be vaccinated, but were undecided what would happen to staff who refused to vaccinate despite the mandate.
“Do you know what Canadians don’t want? Canadians don’t want to go back to ban. Canadians don’t want to go back to travel restrictions. Canadians want to get on with their lives and get back to normal as quickly as possible and you know it’s not uncommon for the government to play a regulatory role,” Alghabra said. When it comes to protecting the public health and safety of Canadians.”
While this is a broad policy implemented nationwide, many Canadian provinces do not currently require the full vaccination of health or education workers as a condition of employment.
Canadian public health officials confirmed Thursday that the country is experiencing a fourth wave of Covid-19 and that the virus is growing “strongly”.
In Canada, the number of active Covid cases doubled in just two weeks, and hospital admissions increased more than 10% in the past week alone.
CNN’s Marnie Hunter and Geneva Sands contributed to this report.
Photo: Passengers leave after taking Covid-19 tests at Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver, British Columbia on February 22, 2021 (Photo by Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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