Canada mandates vaccines for federal workers

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal employees will be required to get COVID-19 vaccinations or be put on unpaid leave.

Trudeau announced the plan on Wednesday.

Under the policy, federal employees will be required to declare their vaccination status by October 29. Medical or religious exemptions will be subject to strict conditions.

The mandate applies to workers in major federal government departments, including police personnel, as well as federal contractors and those working from home.

Canadian public broadcaster CBC estimates that the mandate will cover 267,000 workers.

Air and train passengers will also have to show proof of full vaccination, and negative PCR test results will not be accepted from December 1.

Trudeau described the measures as some of the strongest in the world. But he told reporters that this is no time for half measures when it comes to keeping people safe and avoiding lockdowns.

In Canada, 82 percent of the eligible population aged 12 or older has been fully vaccinated.

The Liberal Party led by Trudeau won a general election last month on the promise of a vaccine mandate.