Canada to scale back vaccine mandates

Ottawa’s government announced that it would eliminate vaccine requirements for domestic and federal employees.

Canada plans to remove a number of mandated vaccines from travelers and workers, reverseing the course taken by controversial policies that led to mass protests in Canada earlier this year. 

These mandates will end on June 20. Federal employees and transportation workers who are not vaccinated can resume work. Canadians travelling domestically won’t need to provide proof of vaccination. Minister Dominic LeBlanc explained Tuesday to reporters.

“Today’s announcement is possible because Canadians have stepped up to protect each other,” LeBlanc said. “We are now able to adjust our policy because we have followed consistently the best advice from public health authorities.”

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Although immunization regulations for domestic airlines and trains have been removed, those rules will continue to be in effect on cruise ships. The proof of immunization required for foreigners entering Canada is still necessary. Returning citizens also need to be quarantined. Omar Alghabra (Transport Minister) says that federally controlled public transportation users must wear masks.

LeBlanc warned that mandates might be revived if Canada experiences another Covid-19 surge. “If the situation takes a turn for the worse, we are prepared to bring back the policies necessary to protect Canadians.”

“We don’t regret at all being cautious when it comes to a virus that has tragically killed tens of thousands of Canadians and millions of people around the world,”He continued.

Since their introduction last October, vaccine requirements have proved unpopular with a substantial segment of citizens. This prompted an avalanche of protests last year, when long-haul truckers staged blockades at Ottawa and border crossings. 

Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister) was the target of criticism for the mandates. In response, he reacted harshly to the protests and invoked emergency power to stop them.

The Covid-19 policies have also come under fire from Trudeau’s Conservative critics, as well as members of his own Liberal Party, with one backbench lawmaker blaming the PM for “politicization of the pandemic”In February, which he stated “risks undermining the public’s trust in our public health institutions.”

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The federal government also announced that random coronavirus testing at Canadian airports would be suspended last week. While it noted the tests would resume on July 1, they will be carried out ‘off-site’ after that date, allowing airports to dismantle dedicated testing facilities taking up space in common areas.

“It’s going to make sure that the airports flow more quickly. The airports aren’t designed to be mini health care centers and so this will help with staff, it’ll help with congestion,”Randy Boissonault was the Tourism Minister. “This is a good step in the right direction.”



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