OTTAWA — A coordinated approach for COVID-19 testing and a system of vaccination certificates will be at the heart of the travel restart plan from the G7 countries, including Canada, says Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.
In a statement issued after G7 Transport Ministers’ Meeting last week, Minister Alghabra said getting travel back up and running will hinge on two key elements: COVID-19 testing and vaccination passports, more commonly referred to these days as vaccination certificates.
His statement reconfirms the federal government’s commitment in recent weeks to a system of vaccination certificates for international travel.
Minister Alghabra also acknowledged the importance of restarting travel, not just for leisure and business travel but for supporting and growing the global economy.
Here is Minister Alghabra’s statement:
“I was pleased to virtually gather with my counterparts from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union today. Collectively, we share the same goal for a safe and gradual re-opening of international travel and tourism.
“As the world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic that is evolving, the Government of Canada has implemented a multilayered approach for essential international travel that focused on protecting the health, safety, and security of all Canadians.
“Everyone has a role to play to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, much has been done to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 across all transportation modes. Transportation workers in Canada and across the world have stepped up to ensure that essential goods, vaccines and critical personal protective equipment are delivered during these difficult times, and I am grateful for this work.
“During our meeting today, G7 Transport Ministers recognized that travel not only connects people to family and friends, it also supports the global economy by facilitating business, trade, and tourism. To this end, we have committed to working on a common set of principles to guide the resumption of international travel when it’s safe to do so.
“At the centre of this effort must be a coordinated approach for testing and a common platform for recognizing the vaccinated status of travellers. As we work to build back better, the establishment of a system that will protect our privacy and personal information, and that will be accessible, fair, and equitable is imperative. We must apply lessons learned from innovative technologies to identify long-term, sustainable solutions and expand upon them globally.
“Ultimately, a safe recovery will require an inclusive approach that reaches beyond the G7 and includes working with other countries and with international organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, International Maritime Organization, and World Health Organization.
“As G7 Transport Ministers, we have a leading role to play in advancing a new global framework for international travel that will be essential to safely resume the free movement of people and goods, and the return to a barrier-free global travel environment.”
In other news, Minister Omar Alghabra is set to take part in a virtual news conference tomorrow, May 11, to announce new funding programs as well as the financing of projects to support Canadian airports.
The National Airlines Council of Canada (NACC) and Air Canada have issued renewed calls for a plan for Canada’s travel restart.
Register Now! Travelweek’s ‘Future of Travel: Sunnier Days Ahead’ will take place Wed. May 19, from 1 – 3 p.m. Click here to register now, travelweekfutureoftravel.com