Scores of Metro Vancouverites are expressing concern over the government's decision to drop the mask mandate in airports and on trains.
On Monday (Sept. 26), officials announced that Canada will no longer require travellers to show proof of coronavirus vaccination upon entry to the country or enter their information into the ArriveCAN app.
The current Canada travel order will expire on Friday, Sept. 30.
Transport Canada is also removing its existing travel requirements. As a result, passengers are no longer required to wear masks on domestic and international trains and planes.
While the mandate will expire, the government strongly recommends travellers wear high-quality and well-fitted masks during their journeys — but a great deal of locals feel the suggestion won't be enough to keep travellers safe.
Vancouverites react to Canada dropping the vaccine mandate and the face mask mandate for travel
Numerous people were relieved to see Canada dropping the vaccine mandate and the ArriveCAN requirement. But several travellers are concerned that COVID-19 cases will start to climb now if face masks are no longer required.
Ashleigh Rentz noted that B.C. experts are calling for a "bad flu season" in conjunction with the removal of the travel masking requirement. She added that it is a "tiny inconvenience" that can prevent "so much suffering."
Two headlines today:— Ashleigh Rentz 🏳️⚧️😷💉💉💉💉💜 (@Technicalleigh) September 27, 2022
🤦♀️ "Air Canada welcomes removal of COVID travel restrictions"
🤦♀️ "BC experts predicting bad flu season as people drop masks, return to travel"
I'm alright with dropping ArriveCan, but #BringBackMasks! Such a tiny inconvenience to spare so much suffering. 🤬
Another Vancouver woman said that removing the mask requirement is a "terrible take" and that people "cannot be trusted to not travel when sick."
Terrible take. Honestly I am neutral on dropping everything mentioned, except masks on planes/trains. They DO work. They don’t harm anyone. And we are heading into fall respiratory disease season regardless of COVID. Please cannot be trusted to not travel when sick. 😷 help!— Don’t Call Me Tina 🇨🇦🇺🇦 (@rondosa) September 26, 2022
Johanna Read notes that several things should happen before the government removes mask requirements, including improvements on ventilation as well as new regulations.
I have now lost all faith that any government will do the right thing.— 🇨🇦 ✍🏽 Johanna Read (@TravelEater) September 27, 2022
Want to get rid of masks? First we need to ensure ventilation is adequate AND prove it. We need new regs for adequate air circulation plus a requirement to monitor & post CO2 levels as a proxy.
Another local shared his concerns about ventilation, noting that "tourism was actually doing great with the mask mandate" and that air quality has not improved on trains.
Hot tip: sans masks, train travel's about to get real fun! 😬 https://t.co/oiNiNbTrOD— DJ Writes (@yarnfiend) September 26, 2022
A woman wrote that she has been wearing her N95 masks every time she leaves her house and wouldn't fly anywhere unless it was essential.
We have been wearing N95 masks everytime we leave our home and would not fly for other than essential reasons bc of our personal risk assessment even though we are 4x vaxxed. We are awaiting for our bivalent vax and next Spring before we would consider any travel.— Nancy (@CanuckTraveler) September 27, 2022
One man added that there are several things people must do when they travel through airports and that not enforcing the mask rule is rather silly.
It’s wild to me that masks aren’t enforceable but I still have to take my shoes and my belt off at security.— Scott Graham (@WFLBC) September 27, 2022
Now that the order has been dropped, many people are concerned about their communities, friends, and family.
Big mistake. The only way to live with this w/out death, disability & it's effect on society is to stop pretending covid is going to be over. We should not be dropping masks for public transportation.— Lola (@lolagirlone) September 27, 2022
I thought that this Christmas I’d finally get my mom on a plane to visit us in Vancouver, but now that masks are no longer required on planes this is not going to happen 😢— Jane Fowler (@bio_fowler) September 27, 2022
On the other hand, some people don't feel that masks are needed because they don't believe they prevent the spread of the virus. Others feel the pandemic has completely ended and they aren't neccessary.
No doubt your opinion about masks is based on some kind of science. Could you please let us know what it is? The problem of course, is that COVID can pass through masks.— Tony Simon (@tony_simon) September 27, 2022
No more masks on planes. No more friction. Could it be, actually and finally, over? #COVID19— Robin Esrock (@robinesrock) September 26, 2022