THE federal government announced on Wednesday that it is collaborating 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.
The government said that it is 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 government is working with provinces and territories to develop a secure pan-Canadian approach. This plan is based on advice from public health officials with priority placed on the safety and security of all Canadians.
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, the government said that it will also make sure that these documents are accessible for all Canadians who may need to use them.
The government said it encourages everyone who is able to do so, regardless of travel plans, to get vaccinated. Vaccination with a complete series of approved COVID-19 vaccines provides individuals with substantial protection against the virus.
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, the government pointed out.
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.
Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, 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. 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.”
Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Health, said: “Around the world, vaccination rates are increasing and countries are reopening their borders. We will continue our work with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to provide Canadians with a secure and reliable proof of vaccination, which could be required for international travel. I encourage all Canadians to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to.”
- Canada continues to participate in the international dialogue on proof of vaccination for international travel, including with the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, and through the G7.
- Currently, there is no international consensus on an acceptable proof of vaccination, but the government is working with international partners to recognize proof of vaccination credentials issued in Canada.
- Safeguards are being built into the policies, procedures and technical systems to protect the privacy of Canadians. Provinces, territories and Indigenous organizations are and will remain the custodians of Canadians’ health data.
- The federal government is working with partners to ensure the recognition of Canada’s successful, science-based vaccination strategy abroad, which includes mixed vaccination schedules, extended dose intervals and a portfolio of safe and effective vaccines.
- The federal government is continuing to engage with Indigenous leaders across the country to ensure that design of the proof of vaccination credential responds to the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples. This includes ensuring the program is equitable and accessible, and takes into account the needs of Indigenous communities, including Canada-U.S. border communities.
- Fully vaccinated travellers, including Canadians, who are eligible to come to Canada must continue to upload their current vaccine documentation through ArriveCAN in English or French (or a certified translation) if they want to be eligible for the exemption from quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements.
- The federal government continues to work with the World Health Organization and its international partners to share data proving the efficacy of a mixed vaccine schedule. Vaccines are safe and effective, and provide strong protection against severe illness from COVID-19.
- Canadians who currently need proof they were vaccinated can contact their province or territory for the record or receipt of vaccination if they don’t already have it. More information is available at Canada.ca/vaccine-proof.