canada travel

You'll soon have to be fully vaccinated to board any plane or VIA Rail train in Canada

The Canadian government has just announced a sweeping new measure in its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and encourage people to get vaccinated amid the fourth wave.

While all of the provinces (and none of the territories) have their own versions of a vaccine passport for entering certain indoor public spaces, Ottawa has now mandated that all passengers boarding a flight out of any Canadian airport, taking a public boat for more than 24 hours or riding a VIA Rail train must show valid proof that they received two doses of a Health Canada-approved jab at least two weeks prior to departure.

The rule comes into effect on November 30, the feds announced on Wednesday, though Prime Minister Trudeau says that all eligible residents 12 and older "should" be double dosed by the end of this month if they're planning to travel.

Between Nov. 1 and 30, anyone who isn't fully inoculated will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to catch their boat, train or flight, whether its international or domestic. The same directive will apply for airport and VIA staff.

"If you haven't gotten your shots yet but want to travel this winter, let's be clear: there will only be a few extremely narrow exceptions, like a valid medical condition. For the vast, vast majority of people, the rules are very simple: To travel, you've got to be vaccinated," Trudeau said during a media briefing in which he also stated that a Canadian vaccine passport for international travel is on the way in the coming weeks.

"These travel measures are some of the strongest in the world, because when it comes to keeping you and your family safe and avoiding lockdowns for everyone, this is no time for half measures."

In the same press conference, Trudeau announced that all federal employees must likewise be fully vaxxed by the end of October, with enforcement measures to follow two weeks later.

Lead photo by

John McArthur

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