Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary and not obligatory in Canada, France, Italy, Japan, and Germany. New bills about vaccination passports were proposed in Canada, Italy, France, and Germany, but none were passed. Japan has announced no vaccination requirement for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo.
- According to a new Ipsos poll by Global News, about 64% of individuals think that COVID-19 vaccination should be mandated in Canada. Currently, the COVID-19 vaccination remains voluntary in Canada, but experts believe that employers will soon make it mandatory for their staff to have shots.
- On January 14, the Canadian Prime Minister announced that federal level implementation of vaccine passports was not on the cards as most Canadians are eager to get inoculated. Alternatively, the provincial governments plan to issue vaccination certificates to validate immunized individuals for travel, work, and small gatherings.
- In December, Ontario’s Health Minister said that vaccination is not mandatory in the province, but some travel restrictions may be placed for individuals who are not vaccinated. Further, she said that proof of vaccination would not be required for employers, schools, or elderly care homes in Ontario.
- According to Dr. Isaac Bogoch from the University of Toronto, the government would start lifting some public restrictions once a significant number of Canadians get vaccinated. Further, he said that rules for large gatherings, indoor seating, face masks, and cross-border travel could be relaxed by mid-2021.
- COVID-19 vaccination is not compulsory in France, and there are no restrictions for individuals to take public transport, eat at a restaurant, or travel for work.
- In December, a new bill was introduced for implementing “vaccine passports.” However, the government postponed the bill for several months and announced that vaccination drive would be voluntary rather than obligatory.
- The proposed law for health emergencies is debated because it would “make movement conditional.” However, the government says that a vaccine passport would enable immunized people to have greater access to public spaces and overseas travel. The French airline industry greatly lobbied for the introduction of vaccine passport.
- The current legislation states that mandatory vaccination is illegal for employers in France. As of January 18, the French government did not comment on compulsory vaccination requirements for employers.
- Germany’s Foreign minister and the head of Germany’s Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO) suggested that vaccinated individuals be issued a “vaccine passport” to get better access to flights, restaurants, museums, concerts, cinemas, and events.
- In December, the German government announced that no special rights or privileges would be given to individuals receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Further, the government said that everyone should remain under the same restrictions until vaccination is available to all.
- As of January 20, the government has announced that anti-virus restrictions apply to everyone in Germany, regardless of their vaccination status. Further, Lower Saxony implemented mandatory quarantine restrictions for people entering the state, even if they are vaccinated or have been previously infected with the coronavirus.
- On January 5, it was announced that special protective measures at elderly care homes were to be observed by caretakers until the vaccinations have been completed.
- In December, the Italian Prime Minister announced that the vaccine would be free for citizens and not obligatory.
- Israel, Spain, Greece, Italy, and Portugal are lobbying for vaccination passports. Italy’s National Federation of Travel and Tourism Industry proposed giving immunization certificates to individuals receiving the vaccine.
- Moreover, many Italian employers are debating about mandating the COVID-19 vaccination for employees. Likewise, some companies may require certain employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and a failure to get the shots may become a case of “lack of fitness to work.”
- In December, the government approved a bill to provide free vaccinations to all residents with liability undertaking for any adverse events. Although the bill encourages residents to take the vaccination, it’s up to individuals to get the shots, considering potential adverse effects.
- Japan plans to start its vaccination drive in late February 2021. The first batch of 10,000 medical front liners would receive the vaccine, followed by the elderly and remaining healthcare professionals in mid-March. The remaining citizens could expect to get vaccinated after April.
- On January 19, the government announced that coronavirus vaccination is not a prerequisite for hosting Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2021.