Healthcare

Canada to require all air travelers to be vaccinated

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The Canadian government announced Friday that it will require all commercial air travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, in addition to passengers on interprovincial trains and cruise ships.

Canada is also requiring vaccinations for all federal government workers, as well as employees in air, rail and marine transportation.

The steps are far-ranging moves to get more people vaccinated, and go significantly farther than what the Biden administration has required in the United States.

At the end of July, President Biden announced federal workers would have to be vaccinated, but stopped short of a full mandate by also leaving an option of getting tested regularly instead.

Vaccinations are not required for air travel within the United States, and even in requiring vaccines for their own employees, United Airlines is an exception among the major airlines in that it is mandating the shots.

The Biden administration has been encouraging U.S. employers to act on their own to mandate vaccinations for their workers.

Canada has a significantly higher vaccination rate than the U.S., where many people are declining to get the shots: 73 percent of Canada’s population has at least one shot, compared to 59 percent in the U.S., according to a New York Times tracker.

Canadian officials said they needed to do more, though.

“Canada’s vaccination rate is among the best in the world, but to protect ourselves and each other from the virus and its variants we must do better,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.

Canada said its federal worker requirement would take effect “as early as the end of September,” and its traveler requirement “no later than the end of October.”

 

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