Canada's Vaccine Mandate For Domestic Air & Train Travel Is Officially Over
But don't delete your proof of vaccination just yet.
Beginning Monday, June 20, travellers taking a train or plane departing from Canada will no longer need to show their proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to board. The federal government said the change to Canada's travel rules is possible because of, among other things, widespread vaccination and stable rates of infection and hospitalization.
The change also comes as officials scramble to reduce long wait times at airports.
Vaccination rules at the border still apply, though. Citizens and permanent residents without proof of vaccination against COVID-19 need to undergo pre-entry testing and quarantine when they reach their destination in Canada. Unvaccinated foreign nationals still aren't allowed in the country.
Also on June 20, federally regulated air, rail and maritime companies don't need to require vaccination among their employees.
The end of the vaccine mandate for travel comes two days after Quebec dropped its face-covering requirement on public transit.
Masks are still required in most health care facilities in the province, as well as on planes and federally regulated trains (such as VIA Rail) nationwide.
More changes to federal vaccination policy could be on the horizon. Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has said the government will change its definition of who it considers "full protected" against COVID-19, transitioning to language that encourages Canadians to be "up to date" on their vaccinations.
"Up-to-date" status could include three doses for many adults.
"Although two doses still protect significantly well against severe disease and death, two doses are not enough now to protect against infection and transmission," Duclos said on June 14.
"It's now 'up-to-date vaccination' that needs to be used when we talk about what Canadians should do, what we should expect of Canadians and what this government should be expected to do in the future."
It's so far unclear how that definition change will affect border measures.