Canada drops its vaccine mandate

By Rob Gillies
Associated Press

Toronto (AP) — The Canadian government announced Sept. 26 that it will no longer require people to wear masks on planes to guard against COVID-19. Government officials also confirmed Canada is dropping the vaccine requirement for people entering the country at the end of September.

Canada, like the United States, requires foreign nationals to be vaccinated when entering the country. No change in the mandate is expected in the U.S. in the near term.

Unvaccinated foreign travelers who are allowed to enter Canada are currently subject to mandatory arrival tests and a 14-day quarantine.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has agreed to let a cabinet order enforcing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements at the border expire Sept. 30.

Transport Canada said the existing rules for masks will come off Oct. 1.

“We are able to do this because tens of millions of Canadians rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the negative attitudes of some passengers have made it hard for airlines and crews to enforce the mask mandate in recent months, and cited that as a factor in the decision.

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