OTTAWA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- All people aged 12 and above entering Canada's House of Commons precinct will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from Nov. 22 when the newly-elected Canadian parliament kicks off, the parliament governing body said Tuesday.
Those with a valid medical reason for avoiding 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," said House Speaker Anthony Rota in a statement.
"Details with respect to the implementation of the board's decision are being developed and will be communicated in due course," Rota said, adding, "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 COVID-19 restrictions in place for the House of Commons until Jan. 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 members of parliament 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.
By Tuesday night, Canada had reported 2,229 new COVID-19 cases, taking the national tally to 1,687,635, with 28,603 deaths, said the CTV Television Network. Enditem