Canada Announces Plan For Vaccine Passport For International Travel
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced today that Canada is getting a vaccine passport for international travel.
“We are working actively with the provinces and territories on a secure, pan-Canadian proof of vaccination for international travel,” he said.
“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made, our country is reopening – gradually, cautiously and guided by public health. This means that many Canadians are contemplating doing something they haven’t done in over a year and a half: travelling,” Mendicino said.
The vaccine certificate will be common across all provinces and include information such as the holder’s vaccination history, the date they got it, the type of vaccine they received, and the location where they received their shot.
The document will be digital, with an option for those who cannot or do not want a digital certificate.
The vaccine passport will be available to all citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents living in Canada who are fully vaccinated.
“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 passport will be ready to go “early this fall,” according to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
The federal government will be responsible for gathering all the vaccination data from each province and territory in order to put it into their new passport system, which has been discussed with the premiers.
According to LaBlabc, their reaction was “extraordinarily encouraging and positive.”
“(Trudeau) was very clear that this is, properly, data that is is in the hands of provincial health authorities. We just need to have the secure, safe way to access the data in order to produce this proof of vaccine credential,” LeBlanc said.
“We’re very confident that that process will unfold smoothly.”
Will Vaccine Passports Be Required For Domestic Travel?
The vaccine passport is being developed with international travel in mind, but LeBlanc said that the federal government is happy to work with the provinces to use it as a domestic proof-of-vaccination tool.
“If the provinces wish to work with us in order to use our federal credentials within their province, we would be happy to work with them.”
However, the decision to have domestic vaccine passports for access to activities like restaurants, bars, and festivals will remain within the provinces.
Quebec just announced that they will be implementing a Covid-19 vaccine passport as of Sept 1st that will be used for access to non-essential services, like gyms, bars, restaurants and festivals. On the other hand, Ontario’s Premier has maintained a firm stance that his government will not implement a vaccine passport.
“The provinces will be making determinations,” said Trudeau.
“We’ve seen Quebec for example, move forward with an internal vaccine passport. Alberta has announced that it will not be doing that. Different provinces will be doing different things.”
The use of vaccine passports have been a contentious issue and experts have been divided on the issue of whether a vaccine passport is necessary,
“If we were to deny people access, like right now, this would be very unfair for a lot of reasons — there are many Canadians out there that have not had the chance or the opportunity to have double vaccination,” said Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist with University of Toronto.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories