Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday that provinces and territories will issue a standardized Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination. The federal government will not be issuing one.
“You can download it into your phone, you can print it out, you can ask for a copy by mail if you don’t have those capacities,” he told reporters.
This certificate is already available to residents of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. It will be available in the other provinces soon, Trudeau noted, adding that Canada is also engaging with international partners to obtain recognition and acceptance abroad, so the proof can also be used to facilitate travel around the world.
“Canadians have done their part by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Trudeau. “As new vaccine requirements roll out for travellers, we are working to ensure that those who travel have access to a reliable, secure way to demonstrate their COVID-19 vaccinations, both at home and abroad. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners so this standardized proof is available across Canada.”
The vaccine passport will have a common look across the country, including a “Canada” word mark in the top corner, said officials. Canadians can use their provincial or territorial proof of vaccination system both for domestic and international travel. It can also be used with ArriveCAN, the mobile app and website for travellers to submit mandatory information when arriving in Canada from other countries.
The proof of vaccination system complies with the SMART Health Card standard which allows officials to verify and authenticate the information without giving access to any other health or identity information. It is supposed to be tamper-proof as it detects any changes to the document after it has been issued.
The vaxx certificate will be issued by provinces and territories to individuals who are vaccinated and registered with their local authority. Those vaccinated outside Canada can check with their home province or territory to see if they can register their vaccine record to get a Canadian proof, Trudeau said in a statement.
Travellers can continue to use their provincial proof of vaccination for domestic or international travel if their province is not yet issuing the standardized proof of vaccination.
This standardized proof will support Canada’s new traveller vaccination requirements that will come into effect at the end of the month.
Effective October 30, travellers departing from Canadian airports, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to travel. To allow travellers time to become fully vaccinated, there will be a short transition period where they will be able to travel if they show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative to providing proof of full vaccination. If travellers have not already started the vaccination process, or do not start soon, they risk not qualifying for travel as of November 3