The federal government has announced mandatory vaccination for travel in Canada, which will come into effect on Oct. 30.
The message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was simple:
To travel you’ve got to be vaccinated.PM Trudeau on new travel rules
Canada’s new travel rules and dates to remember
Starting October 30, everyone age 12 and older will need to provide proof of full vaccination to travel departing from Canadian airports, on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains. In addition, marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels (including cruise ships on voyages of 24 hours or more) will be required to be fully vaccinated.
There will be a “short transition period,” ending on Nov. 30, where travellers who are in the process of being vaccinated can show a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of travel. After November 30, travellers will not be able to board trains or planes unless fully vaccinated.
The Canadian government will require employers in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to establish vaccination policies for their employees, as of the same date, and must guarantee that employees are fully vaccinated or they will be unable to work.
These travel measures, along with mandatory vaccination for federal employees, are some of the strongest in the world because when it comes to keeping you and your family safe, when it comes to avoiding lockdowns for everyone, this is no time for half measures.PM Justin Trudeau
Steep fines for false documentation
In terms of consequences for falsifying vaccination status or failing to comply with the rules, railway companies could be subjected to compliance actions up to $250,000 per violation, per day, under the Railway Safety Act. The air sector, travellers, employees, could be fined up to $5,000 per violation under the Aeronautics Act and operators could be fined up to $25,000 per violation. Marine sector employees and travellers could be fined up to $250,000 per violation, per day, and operators could be fined up to $250,000 per violation, per day for non-compliance to the Interim Order made pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
This announcement comes as the federal government also revealed that federal public servants will have to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30. Those individuals who are not fully vaccinated or do not disclose their vaccination status by that date will be placed on administrative leave, without pay, as early as Nov. 15.
This includes individuals who work in federal government departments, the RCMP, Correctional Service of Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency.
“We are taking this step to protect those who wok in the federal public service, their families and their communities,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
“This measure also protects everyone who does business with the public service, whether it is getting access to your benefits at a Service Canada office or safely travelling across our borders.”
Beginning Oct. 6, federal public servants will be onboarded in phases to provide their vaccine attestation through an online system.