Canada opened its doors to fully vaccinated Americans on Monday, causing cars to back up at the border for hours. On Friday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra made a new travel-related announcement: By sometime this autumn, air travelers, cruise ship passengers, and those taking the train from province to province in Canada will need to show proof they've been vaccinated against COVID, reports USA Today. "As soon as possible in the fall and no later than the end of October, the government of Canada will require employees in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to be vaccinated," Alghabra's office noted in a statement. "The vaccination requirement will also extend to certain travelers. This includes all commercial air travelers." Alghabra added that vaccinations will also be required for all workers for the federal government, the nation's largest employer, per CNBC.
Although Canada currently enjoys one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with nearly 64% of its population fully vaccinated, case numbers are going up again, with the nation's top health official, Dr. Theresa Tam, warning earlier this week that Canada has entered a fourth wave. "Cases are plotting along a strong resurgence trajectory," Tam told reporters on Thursday, per CTV News. The outlet notes there are now upward of 13,000 active cases, which is more than twice the number there were in July. Tam says the majority of the new daily cases are affecting those between the ages of 20 and 39. Air Canada, the nation's flagship airline, responded to Alghabra's announcement with a thumbs-up. "Although Air Canada awaits further details ... on mandatory vaccinations, it is a welcome step forward in the evolving measures to protect the health and safety of airline employees, customers, and all Canadians," the airline said in a statement, per USA Today. (Read more Canada stories.)