Canada will require all air and cruise passengers to be fully vaccinated before traveling as soon as this fall, marking a crucial milestone in the country’s effort to restart normal travel operations.
All employees in federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation positions will be required to be vaccinated by the end of October at the latest, according to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. That will then be extended to all commercial air passengers, travelers on interprovincial trains, and passengers on cruises.
The decision comes just days after Canada began welcoming fully-vaccinated travelers from the United States without the need to quarantine. It also comes a few months before Canada plans to lift its ban on cruise ships.
“Driving vaccine uptake in Canada to as high a level as possible is one of the most effective, and least disruptive, means at our disposal to sustain the gains we have made in recent months, and ensure that we continue on our path to economic recovery, and a healthier and more equitable future,” Jean-Yves Duclos, the president of the Treasury Board, said in a statement. “With this announcement, we are doing more to protect the health and safety of Canadians and reduce the risk of COVID-19.”
So far, more than 82% of eligible Canadians have received at least a first dose of a vaccine, and over 71% are fully vaccinated, according to the government.
In the U.S., many cruise lines have implemented vaccine mandates — including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which has defended its policy in court — and several airlines have crafted policies to require the jab for employees. Additionally, cities like New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans, have also begun to require proof of vaccination to access activities like indoor dining.
The federal government, however, has not implemented a travel-related vaccine mandate on a national level.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.