Unvaccinated Canadians are allowed to travel on planes and trains once again. The federal COVD-19 vaccines are no longer in place for domestic travellers and Canadians heading to international destinations.
“I think it provides more opportunity for domestic travel and just reduces yet another barrier as we start to recover as an industry,” said Hala Dehais, the academic chair with SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism.
“I think it can be very positive for our industry.”
The rule changes, which were officially ‘suspended’ on Monday, mean anyone taking a train or plane within the country will not have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine. Masks are still required in all airports.
Canadians also won’t need to show proof when flying internationally, though unvaccinated Canadians will still face quarantine and testing requirements when returning. It’s worth noting, however, that destinations such as the United States and Australia still require all visitors to be vaccinated for the virus.
The changes to travel requirements come during an already-busy travel season, one that has seen long waits and delays at most major airports across the world. In Canada, some of those delays are partially being blamed on labour shortages among airlines and airport staff.
VACCINE MANDATE FOR FEDERAL WORKERS LIFTED
As of Monday, the vaccine requirement for federal workers and transportation employees was lifted, too.
“I guess the hope would be just to become more efficient and have less lines and, you know, get back to how we were traveling before,” said Kylan Falk a travel specialist with Civilized Adventures in Calgary.
On the hospitality and tourism side, the industry has been resilient through more than two slow years, said Dehais. The boost is also much needed, she added.
“I think it will be bumpy. The recovery will certainly be bumpy as we see labour shortages here in Alberta as well as globally in the industry.
“As we build back up, I think we need the demand in order to build that workforce back up and I think the consistency will help us do that,” Dehais said.
Canadians also won’t need to show proof when flying internationally, though unvaccinated Canadians will still face quarantine and testing requirements when returning.