Canada Suspends Mandatory Vaccines for Most Travel, Federally Regulated Transportation Workers, and Federal Government Employees

On June 14, 2022, Canada announced that, due to the country’s improved public health situation, certain vaccination requirements are suspended as of June 20.

Federally Regulated Travel Sector

Vaccination requirements relating to travel are suspended for boarding a plane or train for domestic or outbound travel.

Vaccination requirements and other strict public health measures for passengers and crew of cruise ships remain in effect. 

Masking Requirement

Travelers on federally regulated planes and trains continue to be required to wear a mask throughout their journey except for brief periods (e.g., eating or drinking).

Passengers on cruise ships will be expected to follow masking requirements and other hygiene measures as directed by the ship’s crew, regardless of whether they are foreign or domestic.

Border Measures

Current border measures will not change:

  • The existing vaccination requirement for most foreign nationals to enter Canada remains in effect;
  • Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents returning from international destinations who do not qualify for the fully vaccinated traveler exemption must still provide a valid pre-entry test result, remain subject to Day 1 and Day 8 molecular testing, and quarantine for 14 days; and
  • All travelers entering Canada must still input their mandatory information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours before their arrival in Canada, failing which they may be subject to Day 1 and Day 8 molecular testing, quarantine for 14 days, and fines or other enforcement actions, regardless of their vaccination status.

Federal Workforce

Vaccination requirements for the following employees are suspended:

  • Employees in the federally regulated transportation sectors. Employers in this sector are no longer required to have vaccination policies in place for employees;
  • Employees of the federal government. The Policy on COVID-19 Vaccination for the Core Public Administration (CPA) Including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Policy) is suspended; and
  • Employees of Crown corporations and separate agencies.

Vaccination requirements are also suspended for supplier personnel accessing federal government workplaces.

Employees of the entities listed above who were placed on unpaid leave for noncompliance with a vaccination requirement will be permitted to resume their regular work duties with pay, and employers will be responsible for establishing return-to-work practices.  Accommodation measures put in place as a result of the vaccination policy will end, as will consideration of outstanding accommodation requests.  The review and validation of employee attestations will continue under the internal management of each federal organization.

Furthermore, the proposed regulations under Part II (Occupational Health and Safety) of the Canada Labour Code to make vaccination mandatory in all federally regulated workplaces will not proceed.

Possible Future Adjustments

The federal government indicated that it will not hesitate to make adjustments to keep Canadians and the transportation system safe based on the latest public health advice and science. 

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.