Staring from November 22, people aged 12 and above entering Canada’s House of Commons precinct will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to authorities. Those with a valid medical reason against vaccination will have the option of providing proof of a recent negative Covid-19 rapid antigen test result to enter the buildings that are part of the precinct, said the Board of Internal Economy, which is the body governing the administrative and financial policies of the House of Commons. “This requirement will apply to any person who wishes to enter the House of Commons precinct, including members and their staff, political research office employees, administration employees, members of the parliamentary press gallery, parliamentary business visitors, contractors and consultants,” Xinhua news agency quoted House Speaker Anthony Rota as saying in a statement. “Details with respect to the implementation of the board’s decision are being developed and will be communicated in due course… These decisions were made to meet ongoing recommendations from public health authorities to help limit the spread of Covid-19 within the work environment.” The board has also extended existing restrictions in place for the House of Commons until January 31, 2022, including a mask mandate. During the campaign for Canada’s 44th national election last month, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, and the Bloc Quebecois had required their candidates to be fully vaccinated, while the Conservative Party of Canada reportedly said its MPs will follow all public health directives. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, new Covid-19 cases in the country are 10 times higher among the unvaccinated than the fully vaccinated. Till date, Canada has registered a total of 1,690,258 Covid-19 cases and 28,644 deaths.
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