The Canadian government announced Wednesday that it is collaborating with the provinces and territories to develop a proof of vaccination system that will facilitate cross-border travel, while still reducing the risk of spread and importation of COVID-19.
For Canadians who decide to travel, using a proof of vaccination will provide foreign border officials with the vaccination history needed to assess whether they meet that nation’s public health requirements and provide a trusted and verifiable credential for when they return home.
Currently, there is no international consensus on an acceptable proof of vaccination, but the federal government is working with international partners to recognize proof of vaccination credentials issued in Canada. Ottawa is continuing to participate in talks with the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the G7.
For now, 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 federal government has said that it will also make sure that these documents are accessible for all Canadians who may need to use them.
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.
Ottawa still advises against non-essential foreign travel, but for those Canadians who must travel, they recommend that they 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.
“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, ” said Health Minister Patty Hajdu in a prepared release.
One of the biggest obstacle for Canadians who have had mixed vaccinations against COVID-19 is that only a handful of nations recognize the practice. The Government of Canada said it continues to work with the World Health Organization and its international partners to share data proving the efficacy of a mixed vaccine schedule.
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.