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COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Starting Oct. 30, the new policy requires vaccinations for anyone 12 years or older wishing to board a plane or a train in Canada, barring narrow medical exceptions.

This is not specific to federal employees — it includes all passengers flying on domestic, transborder or international flights departing from airports in Canada, and rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains. Marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels, like cruise ships or voyages extending 24 hours or more, must also be vaccinated.

“Testing will no longer be an option before boarding,” Trudeau clarified at a news conference.

“For the vast, vast majority of people, the rules are very simple,” he continued. “To travel, you’ve got to be vaccinated.”

“These travel measures, along with mandatory vaccination for federal employees, are some of the strongest in the world. Because when it comes to keeping you and your family safe, when it comes to avoiding lockdowns for everyone, this is no time for half measures,” he added.

This means that anyone wishing to board a plane or train must have received a second jab of a Health Canada-approved vaccine at least 14 days before their travels.

Currently, Health Canada has four approved vaccines against COVID-19: AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and Moderna Spikevax.

For travellers who are in the process of being vaccinated, there will be a short window within which they can travel provided they offer a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel.

However, by Nov. 30, that window, too, will close and all travellers will require full vaccination before hopping aboard. Limited exceptions will be available to address specific situations like emergency travel and will be extended to those medically unable to be vaccinated.

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