OTTAWA— The logistics are still being worked out but the federal government has given the strongest indication yet that vaccination certificates will be the way forward for Canadians looking to travel internationally post-pandemic.
On CBC radio program CBC News: The House over the weekend, host Chris Hall asked Health Minister Patty Hajdu if the federal government is onboard with a system of digital certification, or vaccine passports, for international travel.
In recent months both Hajdu and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have signalled Canada’s interest in collaborating with global partners including the G7 countries on a system of digital certification for COVID-19 vaccination.
And just last week Trudeau said, “Naturally, it’s to be expected” when asked about vaccination certificates for international travel, given the precedent for proof of vaccination required for other illnesses when travelling. His comments came after the EU, which is working on its Digital Green Pass for EU travel, signalled that fully vaccinated Americans may be welcome to travel to the EU this summer.
Hajdu said to Hall: “Absolutely, Canadians need to be able to have the right kind of certification for international travel, because as we know, Canadians will want to travel internationally when things subside in terms of COVID-19, and they’ll want to be able to ensure they have the right credentials to do that from a vaccination perspective.”
She added: “I’m meeting on a regular basis with my G7 counterparts, and this is an ongoing conversation about how that might look and how we might be able to have some sort of standardized approach to this. And so yes, of course that’s going to be an important component of Canadians’ certification, the ability to be able to present
Hall then asked Hajdu: “So when do you think that would be available – in time for travel later this summer?”
Hajdu replied: “Well, it depends, I suppose, on what the requirements will be internationally. There isn’t a consensus yet on what that looks like internationally. Countries are looking at different solutions. From our perspective we have a bit of a head start in terms of entry into Canada, we have ArriveCAN, the app, that allows for digital proof of testing for example, now, and a variety of other documents that people have to submit to enter Canada.”
She added: “We’ll be working with our international partners to make sure that whatever the world lands on, Canadians will have documents in the appropriate format.”