COVID-19 vaccine passports for international travel will likely be available for citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents by the fall, Canada has announced.
The digital proof of vaccination can be presented to foreign border officials to ensure travellers comply with health requirements.
Travellers will also be able to submit the proof of vaccination in the ArriveCAN app on their return to Canada.
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Those without vaccination proof can still travel, but must comply with restrictions in the country they are visiting, and “will be subject to mandatory quarantine and testing upon return to Canada,” an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) statement said Wednesday.
“The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to develop a secure pan-Canadian approach” the statement added.
“This plan is based on advice from our public health officials with priority placed on the safety and security of all Canadians.”
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced the new step via a digital press conference.
He said Canada currently has the highest vaccination rate of the G20 group of countries.
“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made, our country is reopening – gradually, cautiously and guided by public health,” he said.
“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.”
Ottawa says Canada is working on an international proof of vaccination with other countries, through the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the G7, but there is no consensus as yet.
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, if they want to be eligible for the exemption from quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements.