Canada’s travel restrictions: Vaccination requirements are changing

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The federal government is expected to provide more details on Tuesday about its plans to suspend the requirement for domestic and outbound international travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Senior government sources have told CTV News that foreigners coming to Canada must remain vaccinated and that the policy change will go into effect as early as Wednesday.

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It remains to be seen what further changes could be made, possibly also around the use of the ArriveCAN application and whether the cancellation of mandates extends to the federal civil service.

Given Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill this morning, the announcement is likely to come later.

The federal requirements that all passengers on planes or trains must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding were first promised by the Liberals in the last federal election and came into force in October 2021.

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In recent months, pressure has mounted on the government to lift travel vaccination requirements amid significant airport delays and other concerns from opposition politicians and the travel industry.

During these calls, Liberals have defended the mandates, repeatedly citing the need to follow the science and the advice of public health officials.

Heading to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Chief Government Whip Steven MacKinnon was asked on what basis the government had now decided to scrap these travel requirements. He said he would leave it to Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos to answer later.

“Of course we are observing a significant decrease in the number of cases and thus in the threat to public health. So I think it’s time to lift some of these measures. You will of course be suspended, she might come back. The pandemic is not over yet, but now is the time to relax some of the measures in place,” MacKinnon said.

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Featuring files from CTV News’ Glen McGregor and Mackenzie Gray

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