Will Canada’s vaccine passport for int’l travel be ready by Nov. 8? Blair answers

Will Canada’s vaccine passport for int’l travel be ready by Nov. 8? Blair answers

TORONTO — Will it or won’t it? After months of promises that Canada’s vaccine passport for international travel will be ready by the fall, the federal government is now saying it could in fact be ready “for a number of Canadian travellers” in time for Nov. 8, when the U.S. reopens its land border to fully vaccinated Canadian travellers.

Global News is reporting that Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says he’s “very confident” that the national system of proof of vaccination, aimed at restarting international travel as Canada comes out of the pandemic, will be ready in time for the Nov. 8 U.S. land border reopening.

On Oct. 12 the Biden administration announced that it would reopen its side of the land border after a 19-month closure. On Oct. 15 it zeroed in on the Nov. 8 date. Meanwhile the CDC has given the green light to COVID vaccines approved not just by the FDA but also by the WHO – so that includes AstraZeneca – plus mixed dose vaccinations are now recognized as well.

During Global’s The West Block political affairs program, Blair said: “I’m very confident … that we will have in place, for a number of Canadian travellers, that certificate by that date.”

This year started with some resistance from the federal government to vaccine passports for international travel. But as the EU forged ahead with its Digital COVID Certificate, and  vaccination numbers in Canada soared, and as more and more polls indicated that the majority of Canadians were in favour of proof of vaccination for international travel, the government got onboard.

For now travellers can upload their proof of vaccination to the ArriveCAN app. Last month Prime Minister Trudeau indicated that the federal government would also be open to adding federal certification for international travel to provincial vaccine passports. By Oct. 30 anyone over the age of 12 getting on a train or plane in Canada must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.