Canada moving forward with vaccine passports for international travel
The federal government says it will collaborate with the provinces and territories to develop a proof of vaccination that will facilitate cross-border travel.
The Canadian government has announced plans to develop vaccine passports for international travel.
In an Aug. 11 statement, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said it will collaborate with the provinces and territories to develop a proof of vaccination “that will facilitate cross-border travel, while reducing the risk of spread and importation of COVID-19.”
“We are also continuing to engage with Indigenous partners across the country to ensure that a proof of vaccination credential responds to the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples,” the statement continued.
For Canadians who decide to travel, using a proof of vaccination will provide foreign border officials with the vaccination history needed to assess whether a traveller meets their public health requirements and provide a trusted and verifiable credential for when they return home.
Travellers will be able to submit their proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN (mobile app or Canada.ca/ArriveCAN) when coming back to Canada. “While the focus is on a digital proof of vaccination, we will also make sure that these documents are accessible for all Canadians who may need to use them,” the department said.
The department noted that destination countries determine if or what type of proof of vaccination is required and the related benefits that may be provided such as reduced or no testing or quarantine requirements. “Canadians who do not have a proof of vaccination can travel outside the country, but they may have to quarantine or meet other requirements at their destination country, and they will be subject to mandatory quarantine and testing upon return to Canada,” it said. “Canadians should always check the Government of Canada’s travel advice and advisories, as well as the entry and public health requirements of their destination country, before booking a trip.”
The agency also said that, while there is no international consensus yet on an acceptable proof of vaccination, the government is working with international partners to recognize proof of vaccination credentials issued in Canada.
The announcement follows Quebec’s decision to implement a COVID-19 vaccine passport as of Sept. 1, which the province’s Health Minister Christian Dubé announced on Aug. 10.
Canada’s border reopened to fully vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9, and the plan is to allow all fully vaccinated foreign travellers in next month. The border closed to most foreigners and non-permanent residents in March 2020.