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Canada sets dates for travel vaccine mandate

Air Canada Boeing 777-200.
Image by Nel Botha from Pixabay.

The Canadian government announced it will require most commercial rail, air and ship passengers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of October.

As of October 30 and until November 30, those who are in the process of being vaccinated will be able to travel in Canada by showing a negative coronavirus test from a sample taken within 72 hours. This transition period ends November 30, when all eligible travelers must be vaccinated.

The vaccine mandate applies to travelers 12 years of age and older who are:

  • Air passengers flying on domestic, transborder or international flights departing from airports in Canada
  • Rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains
  • Marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages of 24 hours or more

Limited exceptions include emergency travel and those medically unable to be vaccinated.

“These responsible, practical, and tough actions… will protect Canadians, prevent our health care systems from being overwhelmed, allow our children to continue to go to school (and) accelerate our economic recovery,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told a news conference.

It will also ensure that “a minority of people (opposed to Covid-19 jabs) cannot sabotage Canada’s economic recovery,” she said.

More than 82% of Canadians 12 years and over are fully vaccinated and 88% have received at least one dose, according to the Covid-19 Vaccination Tracker website.

The country’s largest carrier, Air Canada, has said mandatory vaccinations is “a welcome step forward in the evolving measures to protect the health and safety of airline employees, customers and all Canadians.”

In 2019, nearly 235,000 Canadians visited Costa Rica, according to Tourism Board data.

As a result of the pandemic, the number of Canadian arrivals to Costa Rica fell to 115,632 people in 2020 and less than 11,000 people through the first six months of 2021.

Four Canadian airlines offered direct service to Costa Rica before the pandemic, and two — WestJet and Air Canada — are resuming those routes in October 2021.

Click here for official information from the Canadian government.

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