Canadian Government Will Mandate Vaccines for Plane, Train, Cruise Passengers

The Canadian government plans to require COVID-19 vaccines for all plane, train and cruise passengers traveling into the country.

During a press conference on Friday, Canada's Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced that a vaccine mandate for travelers will be imposed in the coming months.

Alghabra also announced that Canada will require COVID-19 vaccines for all federal workers.

"In addition, as soon as possible in the fall and no later than the end of October, the government of Canada will require employees in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to be vaccinated. The vaccination requirement will also extend to certain travelers," the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat said in a statement. "This includes all commercial air travelers, passengers on interprovincial trains, and passengers on large marine vessels with overnight accommodations, such as cruise ships."

"Vaccination is the most effective tool to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for Canadians and to protect broader public health," the statement continued. "It is our most important instrument and so we continue to take action to get as many Canadians vaccinated as possible."

During a press conference on Friday, Alghabra said, "The government of Canada is leading by example in requiring vaccinations for public service employees, and we are asking all federally regulated employers to develop vaccine plans to ensure their employees and workplaces are safe. This is the right thing to do and will ensure Canada continues to build back better from the global COVID-19 pandemic."

According to data from the Canadian Health Ministry, 71 percent of the nation's total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 61 percent are considered fully vaccinated.

While Canada's vaccination rate is higher than several other countries, Alghabra said that the country "must do better."

"We need to reach as many Canadians as we possibly can," he added.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc made similar comments on Friday, saying, "We know vaccinations are the best way to help protect our fellow Canadians from COVID-19 variants of concern. We are encouraged by the many federal employees who have already been vaccinated and hope that vaccination rates will continue to climb as the government of Canada moves ahead on its vaccination strategy."

Earlier this week, the Canadian government announced that they are working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine passport to allow citizens to travel with proof of vaccination.

Newsweek reached out to the Canadian Transport Ministry for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Canada COVID Vaccine
Canada plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all plane, train and cruise passengers traveling into the country. Above, travelers wait to cross into Canada at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ontario, August 9, 2021 Geoff Robins/Getty