Canada to issue vaccine passports for international travel

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced on Wednesday that fully vaccinated Canadians will soon be able to get a government document certifying their COVID-19 vaccine history for the purpose of international travel.

“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made, our country is reopening—gradually, cautiously and guided by public health,” said Mendicino. “This means that many Canadians are contemplating doing something they haven’t done in over a year and a half: travelling. Our work with the provinces and territories to provide a consistent proof of vaccination is a key step forward in ensuring Canadians will have the documents they need once it is safe to travel again.”

The federal government says it is working with international partners to recognize proof of vaccine credentials issued in Canada.

“Currently, there is no international consensus on an acceptable proof of vaccination, but we are working with international partners to recognize proof of vaccination credentials issued in Canada,” said a statement issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

It also outlined what having the document will mean for travellers returning home to Canada.

“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,” the statement read. “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.”

“Travellers will be able to submit their proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN (mobile app or 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 media release stated.

The federal government said it is working with provinces and territories to develop a secure pan-Canadian approach. While the vaccine passport is not intended for use domestically, it could be if provinces choose to do so. 

Quebec is introducing a provincial passport next month.  Manitoba has a vaccine card that is either digital or on paper, which provides proof of vaccination. Prince Edward Island has a PEI Pass.

Ontario and Alberta have both said they will not provide provincial vaccine passports.




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