The federal government is set to announce an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates on Tuesday (June 14) for domestic travel on aircraft and trains, as well as for outbound international travel, according to a report from CBC News.
However, the government may reinstate the vaccine requirement if there's a new variant of the COVID-19 virus, sources with direct knowledge of the decision told CBC News. (The sources were not named).
Two government sources close to the decision who spoke to the Canadian Press said the rules for foreign nationals coming to Canada will not change.
The relaxed policy is also expected to affect federal workers who have been put on unpaid leave because of their vaccination status.
The new rules will come into effect on June 20, reports say.
Canada's vaccine mandate for air and rail travel has been in effect since Oct. 30, 2021.
Ottawa has faced heightened pressure in recent weeks from industry advocates and opposition parters to ease up on public health measures to address the lengthy delays and wait times at Canadian airports.
The Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, a coalition of industry leaders, earlier this week called on Ottawa to lift "outdated vaccine mandates for passengers and federally regulated aviation workers" and removing the duplicative health checks at Canada's airports.
Despite the recent temporary removal of randomized on-arrival testing, there will remain congestion issues as all passengers' vaccination status will “continue to be determined at the border, with unvaccinated travellers still required to undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival through June," the Roundtable said.
Last week, the Canadian government said it will pause all randomized COVID-19 testing at Canada's airports for vaccinated travellers until the end of the month.