On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that all rail, cruise and air passengers over the age of 12 and staff would be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The requirement will go into effect on October 30. Trudeau also said there would be a brief grace period where unvaccinated travelers will be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel.
As of October 30th, people on planes and trains must be fully vaccinated. For a brief period, those in the process of getting vaccinated can show a negative molecular COVID-19 test. But by the end of November, everyone must be fully vaccinated - testing will not be an option.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 6, 2021
The requirement coincides with a vaccine mandate for all federal employees, according to Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
"These travel measures, along with mandatory vaccination for federal employees, are some of the strongest in the world," Trudeau added.
Air travelers entering Canada are currently required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the last 72 hours. Unvaccinated travelers must take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada, quarantine for 14 days, and then take another test.
Steep fines for noncompliance
Travelers caught circumventing the rules through false information like faked vaccination cards will face heavy fines. Air passengers face up to $5000 per violation. Cruise passengers can face up to $250,000 per day for violating the rules.
Canada's vaccine passport
Canada intends to implement a vaccine passport that travelers will be able to use to show proof of vaccination for non-Canadians. Similar vaccine passports are already in place for residents of British Columbia and Ontario. The government says the pan-Canadian passport will be in a digital format, and it will make showing proof of vaccination "easy and quick" for travelers.
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