Federal Government Removes Vaccination Requirements for Domestic and Out-Bound Travel

The federal government announced on June 14, 2022 that vaccine mandates will be suspended for travellers in Canada and departing Canada.

Passengers boarding a plane or train in Canada for domestic our out-bound international travel will no longer require COVID-19 vaccinations as of June 20, 2022. Masks will remain mandatory for all passengers. Canadian citizens and visitors entering into Canada will still be required to meet entry requirements, including being fully vaccinated where applicable. The government’s definition of fully vaccinated remains two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Vaccine travel mandates have been in place since October 30, 2021. This newest change to requirements follows the government’s announcement that it was suspending random COVID-19 testing at airports.

Government officials have relied on vaccine mandates as an effective way of promoting vaccinations among Canadians. Mandate effectiveness, however, has been questioned since the emergence of the Omicron variant. Vaccine mandates could be reinstated if the COVID-19 situation changes for the worse.

Opposition parties and industry organizations have pressured the government to relax public health measures in response to travel delays and long airport lineups. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has said that Ottawa has been taking other measures to address airport congestion, including hiring more security personnel and custom kiosks at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Changes to Mandate for Federal Employees

The federal government also announced the suspension of vaccine mandates for federal employees and transportation workers in federally regulated sectors. Those employees who had been placed on unpaid administrative leave will be invited to return to work.

We will continue to monitor the restrictions and the exemptions as they are provided by the Government of Canada. To stay up-to-date with all COVID-19 updates, visit the MLT Aikins COVID-19 Resource Centre.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.