Unvaccinated Canadian government workers to be placed on unpaid leave
The Canadian government stated Wednesday that federal employees who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 will be placed on unpaid administrative leave, according to a report from Reuters.
The policy does not apply to those who have an exemption.
Public servants must be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or face unpaid administrative leave, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said, according to Global News.
“To be clear, the policy is as of Oct. 29, if you want to work for the Government of Canada, which means the people of Canada, you have to be fully vaccinated,” Freeland said, according to the news outlet.
The policy comes as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Freeland also announced a new vaccine mandate for travelers Wednesday.
Canadians 12 years or older that wish to travel by rail, air or cruise ship must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, according to Global News. This measure will go into effect by Oct. 30, and those who are in the middle of their vaccination regimen will be allowed to present a negative test to travel through the transitionary period, which will be until Nov. 30.
“To travel, you have got to be vaccinated,” Trudeau said while speaking with reporters in Ottawa, according to Bloomberg. “When it comes to avoiding lockdowns for everyone, this is no time for half measures.”
In August, the Canadian government announced that all commercial airline passengers will need to be vaccinated in order to fly. The Canadian government also requires non-Canadians to be vaccinated in order to enter the country.
In July, President Biden directed that all federal workers and contractors show proof of vaccination, or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.
The Biden administration announced in September that it would ease restrictions on fully vaccinated international visitors in November. All foreign visitors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and show proof of vaccination upon boarding an aircraft headed to the U.S.
The Pentagon also recently announced that all civilian workers must be vaccinated by Nov. 22.
According to the Canadian government‘s health department, about 81 percent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated. In contrast, about 66 percent of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
–Updated 1:15 p.m.