COVID-19 Spring Posture Directive - What’s new for the Defence Team
April 8, 2021 - Defence Stories
To continue to provide the Defence Team the most up-to-date information possible regarding the current COVID-19 work environment, the DM and Acting CDS have released a new directive for CAF/DND Activities in the COVID-19 Environment (Spring 2021 Posture).
What’s new since the Fall Directive?
Vaccine Roll Out
- All members of the Defence Team are strongly encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine unless medically unable. Maximum uptake of COVID-19 vaccination will be of utmost importance once the vaccines become widely available.
- Public service employees are reminded to visit the Government of Canada's Vaccines for COVID-19 webpage regarding when and how to receive their COVID-19 vaccination through their provincial or territorial health care provider.
- CAF members should visit the COVID-19 vaccines for Canadian Armed Forces members webpage. It is expected that CAF members in all priority groups will be offered the vaccine sometime between April and August 2021, with the goal of vaccinating as many CAF personnel as possible with both doses of the vaccine in that timeframe.
- For more information: Surgeon General’s message on the COVID-19 vaccine
Below is an overview of the current state of travel restrictions for CAF members. Please read sections 15.m-n of the directive for specifics, exceptions, and limitations.
- Domestic mission-essential travel. Provincial, Territorial, regional, municipal and host nation restrictions will be adhered to. However, CAF members may be required to do otherwise in the authorized execution of a specific duty.
- International mission-essential travel, Authorized, provided that the destination and any countries transited do not restrict such travel.
- Domestic non-duty travel
- Provincial, Territorial, regional, and municipal restrictions will be adhered to.
- Non-duty Domestic travel shall be authorized through the normal process used in units and organizations.
- Domestic travel for compassionate reasons will continue to be applied as per QR&O 16.17 which will be used to encompass mandatory isolation or quarantine requirements.
- COs may authorize domestic travel and grant CAF members on Imposed Restriction, as well as those who are away from their dependents for an extended period of time and who are unable to reunite with them on weekends, a total of seven calendar days every two months to reunite with their dependents to a maximum of 30 days in a fiscal year.
- International travel for compassionate reasons will continue to be applied as per (QR&O 16.17). Mandatory self-isolation or quarantine will be granted in accordance with QR&O 16.17 and expenses reimbursed as part of the compassionate leave claim.
- Non-duty international travel is not authorized until further notice. L1s are the approving authority for all exceptions including for when the reason for travelling is to be reunited with a next of kin.
Since starting in December 2020, Op VECTOR has been providing CAF logistics and delivery support to the Canadian COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. It also provides direction for the internal CAF COVID-19 immunization campaign, which began in January.
Through Op VECTOR and Op LASER (the CAF’s response to the worldwide pandemic), we continue to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic on a federal, provincial, and territorial level. As we move towards warmer weather, we anticipate receiving requests to help with national emergencies like flooding, as well as more Op VECTOR- and Op LASER-specific Requests for Assistance (RFAs).
What is not new in this Spring Directive
DND/CAF will continue to provide and support combat-effective, multi-purpose forces to protect Canada and Canadians at home and abroad, while remaining prepared to respond domestically to any COVID-19 resurgence. Remote work continues to be prioritized, where possible and local commanders and chains of command will continue to adjust operations according to local restrictions and conditions. Additionally, following public health measures (PHMs) is still our best defence against COVID-19. Please continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, and stay 2m apart.
As we see vaccination efforts roll out across the country, there is hope on the horizon. However, the challenge of preserving our operational effectiveness under the threat of the COVID-19 virus remains, and is not an easy task. Add in the very real burden of “pandemic fatigue,” and the task becomes an even more difficult one.
As members of the Defence Team, we must maintain the ability to function safely in a COVID-19 threat environment by following Defence Team updates and important public health direction. Our collective efforts will ensure that we can continue to protect Canadians and defend Canada.
For more information, please visit the Resuming work website.
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