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Vancouverites react to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for air travellers

"People soon won’t be allowed to travel on planes full of strangers if they’re not vaccinated for the same reason why people aren’t allowed to drive drunk," said a local man.
Metro Vancouver residents are sharing their thoughts about Canada's recent announcement that air travellers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Looking to take a trip somewhere outside of Canada later this fall or winter?

You'll have to roll up your sleeves (if you haven't already, of course). 

The federal government still advises against all non-essential travel outside of Canada but the Great White North may see international advisories lifted before the end of the year. But Canadian air travellers will need to be fully vaccinated by the end of October if they wish to fly. 

Ottawa revealed the new mandate Friday (Aug. 13), which also requires federally regulated industries to abide by the new rules — not just those directly employed by the government. That would include everything from banking to telecommunications workers.

The mandate applies to cruise-ship passengers, airline crews, train passengers and train staff as well. Crown corporations are expected to follow suit.

Some locals say they feel that the travel order means that they are "forced" to get a coronavirus vaccine. Other people note, however, that no one is actually forced to get the vaccine. That said, unvaccinated individuals won't have access to all the services that vaccinated people do. 

Many people believe that only fully vaccinated individuals should have access to a host of other services and events, too. One Vancouver man writes, "Bring on the vaccine passports. Refuse to get vaccinated/don't have a medical exemption? No fun for you. No concerts, no gym, no bars, no travel. No fun."

Locals have also expressed relief that the federal government is making significant changes toward keeping Canadians safe. 

One man echoed the sentiment, noting that, "We live in a country that has common sense rules to keep people safe from reckless idiots. People soon won’t be allowed to travel on planes full of strangers if they’re not vaccinated for the same reason why people aren’t allowed to drive drunk."

Coronavirus vaccine passport system

The Government of Canada has announced it's working with the provinces and territories to develop a COVID-19 vaccine passport for international travel. 

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said Wednesday that the document should be ready by the "early fall" and will be digital with a paper option.

He noted that it will include data on the type of vaccines received, the dates and the location they were given.

Find out more about the vaccine passport for international travel.

With files from Tyler Orton.