This week, both the Ontario & Quebec governments have announced that they are considering making proof of COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for travel (and everyday activities like going to the theater, to the cinema, to hockey games, etc.) so it seems this is not something that will be limited to international travel.
Here are the details.
COVID-19 vaccine for international travel
Last week, we told you about how an airline officially declared that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be mandatory to board their international flights.
This really shouldn’t be surprising given how vaccines have been mandatory for many countries even before the worst pandemic in a century. And the current pandemic has decimated the travel industry unlike anything any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes.
So that is something to be expected for international travel (although like current test & quarantine rules, many countries will likely be less strict and not require anything).
But travelers who don’t want the vaccine (which seems to be a lot more people than we had imagined, based on the many 5G/Bill Gates/microchips comments on our initial post) might not simply be able to instead turn to domestic travel to get their wanderlust fix…
(Or even do much of anything in public it seems…)
COVID-19 vaccine for domestic travel
While Quebec and Ontario’s approach to removing the 14-day quarantine when entering Canada could not be more different, it seems they are aligned for now in terms of making proof of vaccination mandatory for many activities, including (but not limited to) travel.
Here’s what Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott said about having proof of vaccination (emphasis is mine):
“That’s going to be really important for people to have for travel purposes, perhaps for work purposes, for going to theatres or cinemas, or any other places where people will be in closer physical contact when we get through the worst of the pandemic. So yes, that will be essential for people to have that.”
Here’s what Québec Minister of Health Christian Dubé said on the same topic (emphasis & translation is mine):
“The issue here is being able to show we’ve been vaccinated. Whether it is to take a flight or enter the Bell Center [the home arena of the Montreal Canadiens].”
COVID-19 vaccine for flights
First: for now, they are only looking into the possibility. Of course, nothing is official.
It’s not clear if Ontario and Québec are considering requiring proof of vaccination just for flights or even train and bus trips. Or as a requirement to enter certain regions for example.
The fact of the matter is that air travel is a federal jurisdiction, and it sure seems unlikely that provinces could impose such a requirement. Although there’s also a chance that the federal government would impose this rule for all flights; we just don’t know yet.
So while currently, domestic travel within Canada is definitely a simpler way to avoid the complexity of entry restriction rules that other countries have… it’s not guaranteed that domestic trips will be a possibility to also avoid mandatory vaccination rules if many countries go down the path of requiring proof of vaccination.
Maybe it will be the opposite and be more like how international travel is currently simpler than domestic travel to avoid places where the coronavirus is spreading more and where things are closed and on lockdown.
Objectively, it’s very likely that many countries will require proof of vaccination, we already covered that in the previous post. But it also seems that at least some airlines are considering mandatory vaccination.
Could Air Canada, WestJet, and the other Canadian airlines take the initiative of requiring this themselves? It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility, based on the comments by the airline CEO we shared last week.
If they do so even for domestic flights, that would be even stricter than what Australia’s flag carrier is planning (what they mentioned was limited to international travel).
But if proof of vaccination really becomes mandatory even for public events and venues, it would be somewhat surprising for it not to be required for air travel (even if the air quality in planes is better than everywhere else on the ground).
Only time will tell how this plays out, as the government’s priority now is to vaccinate the most vulnerable people.
That said, we can only hope there is at least a delay in requiring this for travel (yes, even for those of us who aren’t scared of the vaccine…)
Why travel might actually be harder with the vaccine
There are now 2 types of travelers in the world and the vaccine could make travel harder for both:
- those who don’t want to be vaccinated
- those who want to be vaccinated
Those who don’t want to be vaccinated
Obviously, it seems like travel will be harder for those who don’t want to be vaccinated… that goes without saying.
I usually genuinely very much enjoy debating… but this time I’m taking a pass and don’t want to even get into this. There’s not much you can do to reason with some who believe this vaccine is part of a global conspiracy to implant microchips into everyone.
I realize that some people are more rational and are wary of this vaccine because of the speed of the rollout… but I’m still not going to go there—I’ll stick to making enemies on travel-related subjects only 😉
So for those of you who fit this category, Flytrippers will still help you just like we always help all travelers who want to discover our world and new cultures.
As soon as some countries officialize the vaccine requirement, we’ll very clearly add the vaccine requirement to our upcoming user-friendly map of global travel restrictions for Canadians (which is still not live due to our admittedly unfortunate leveling-down race-to-the-bottom preoccupations, as explained in the section about our responsibility as travel experts at the beginning of our post about our trip to Europe in November).
But once again: there will certainly be countries that don’t require the vaccine. So depending on how this plays out in your province, the reality is that it might even be easier to travel internationally than domestically (and easier to go see any type of event in another country) for those who don’t want the vaccine…
Those who want to be vaccinated
Now, what I teased in the last post was for those who want to be vaccinated (or don’t actively want to, but don’t believe it’s unsafe).
The fact is, the vaccine might actually make traveling harder for us too…
This post is already long enough, so I’ll keep that for an upcoming post to come very soon.
And it’s not necessarily related to the fact that the federal government has been too slow with the vaccine according to every opposition party (at least, not entirely).
Want to get everything that is important for Canadian travelers?
Mandatory proof of vaccination is likely not just going to be something to think about for international travel (and not just for travel at-large either). Canada’s 2 most populous provinces are considering this for travel… and a plethora of other activities.
Do you think a proof of vaccination will be required to travel within Canada? Tell us in the comments below.
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