Canada has announced it will drop all COVID-19 restrictions for travelers starting October 1st.
In a statement, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said “Thanks largely to Canadians who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated, we have reached the point where we can safely lift the sanitary measures at the border.” The health ministry said the decision to end restrictions was based on the vaccination rate, availability of newer vaccines, and data showing the country had passed the peak of the latest wave of coronavirus infections.
The move to drop the requirements comes after many companies (specifically airline carriers) were pushing for an end to mask mandates on flights. Canada’s second-largest carrier WestJet Airlines said, “As Canadians and international visitors look to make travel plans, the long-awaited removal of all remaining measures effective Oct. 1, 2022 will further expedite recovery for our industry and the Canadian economy.”
Canada’s health ministry added that they could reinstate mandates if needed, adding “Obviously we have no hope to reintroduce some of these measures but if we need to protect the safety of Canadians, we will have to.”