Federal vaccine mandate removed, other restrictions still remain


Starting today, travellers won’t have to be fully vaccinated in order to travel on domestic flights or rail. Although the federal vaccine mandate is being removed, not all restrictions are following suit.

Federal workers who were previously placed on leave for not being fully vaccinated can also return to work. This includes RCMP officers, BC Ferries employees, and Canada Post workers.

Data from the federal government shows that as of May 2022, 98.5 per cent of federal workers attested to being fully vaccinated. While 0.3 per cent reported being partially or completely unvaccinated.

The vaccine mandate could return if necessary.

“If we go back in the fall or at some point with the mandates, we will go back to the policy that we had in place,” said Mona Fortier, MP for Ottawa—Vanier who was one of the speakers at a June 14 press conference announcing the lifting of the requirement.

The vaccine requirement hasn’t lifted for all travellers however. Cruise ship passengers will still be required to show their proof of vaccination.

Within the health care system, visitors are still required to show their vaccine proof when entering certain facilities, including hospitals, long-term care, and assisted care facilities. Masks are still required for all persons.

Protect Our Province BC (POP BC), a grassroots organization of health care professionals and advocates says the removal of the mandate isn’t a concern.

“We think this two-vaccine policy has probably outlived their usefulness in most places,” said Steering Committee Member for POP BC, Dr. Brenda Hardie.

No changes to B.C.’s health care system were announced following the mandate removal. Hardie says that the system needs all hands on deck to repair the system.

“With respect to COVID, the thing that’s going to help, is bringing down transmission,” said Hardie.

POP BC says to achieve that, old health policies such as reinstating the public mask mandate is necessary.

“Regulate clean air and support business, schools, health care, to have clean air and monitor clean air,” said Hardie.

The federal government says it will reinstate the vaccine mandate this fall if needed.

Oli Herrera

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