We have been living under the terms of COVID19 for about two years now since the global pandemic began in the late months of 2019. The virus that put the world to a halt has met its match in through vaccines. In a short course of about a year, in the odds of beating the virus and resuming to the “normal” the world has known pre-pandemic, pharmaceutical companies were able to make vaccines.
As vaccines were proven to be effective to mitigate the adverse effect of the virus and reduce the mortality risks of those contracted by the virus, many countries have now implemented an immunization plan and mandatory vaccination.
Canada recently announced the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federally regulated transportation employees and travellers last October 6, 2021.
The mandate is as follow:
Effective October 30, travellers will need to be fully vaccinated in order to board. Specifically, the vaccination requirement will apply to all travellers 12 years of age and older who are:
- Air passengers flying on domestic, transborder or international flights departing from airports in Canada
- Rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains
- Marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages of 24 hours or more
In short, the mandate requires travellers departing from Canadian airports, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, to be fully vaccinated in order to travel. Partially vaccinated individuals or people who are in the process of getting vaccinated can still travel provided that they can show a negative COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel. Travellers must be fully vaccinated by November 30 if they wish to travel, some very slim exemptions will still be accepted given that the travel is of emergency in nature or that the traveller is exempt from getting immunization due to health risks.
The mandate is set to limit the risk of the virus transmission and to prevent future outbreaks. While all personal choice, beliefs and opinions are respected as we proceed cautiously amidst this pandemic, we must do our part to be part of the solution for the better good.