Canada To Require Vaccinations For Air Travelers, Air Sector Workers

Toronto Pearson Airport
Credit: Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

COVID-19 vaccination requirements are set to be put in place for all commercial air travelers in Canada, part of a sweeping program of preventative measures put forward by the Canadian government.

The country’s transport minister Omar Alghabra announced Aug. 13 that vaccinations will be required across Canada for employees in the country’s federal public service as early as the end of September.

Additionally, no later than the end of October, the government 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,” Alghabra said. “This includes all commercial air travelers, passengers on interprovincial trains, and passengers on large marine vessels with overnight accommodations, such as cruise ships.”

Alghabra explained the government will engage with key stakeholders, “including bargaining agents and transportation sector operators, as we plan for the implementation of these initiatives.”

Canada’s largest airline Air Canada said it was awaiting further details about mandatory vaccinations. “It is a welcome step forward in the evolving measures to protect the health and safety of airline employees, customers and all Canadians,” the airline said. “Air Canada is committed to work with its unions and the Government of Canada to implement this new policy in an effective manner.” 

Lori Ranson

Lori covers North American and Latin airlines for Aviation Week and is also a Senior Analyst for CAPA - Centre for Aviation.