Photo Credit: Angel Thipahar, Illustrations Editor
Passports take effect November 30
Sharon Lee, Associate News Editor
The Canadian federal government recently announced mandated an official COVID-19 vaccination passport for travelling. At the time where Canada has finally listed its advisory against non-essential travel, Canadian residents can use the passport to provide proof of vaccination for domestic or international travel.
Announcement of vaccination passport
On October 21, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government has collaborated with provinces and territories to roll out a standardized vaccination passport, which will be used to facilitate international and domestic travelling. As of publication, the passport can be used by Canadians living in all provinces and territories except Alberta and New Brunswick. It will soon become available in the remaining provinces. To support the new vaccination requirements for Canadian travellers, the passport will go into effect on November 30.
The passports will include the person’s name and date of birth, the number of doses received, the type of vaccine, lot numbers, dates of vaccination, and a QR code with vaccination history.
A statement on the Prime Minister’s website indicates that “vaccination is the best way to keep Canadians safe and healthy, get back to enjoying the things we love, and prevent future lockdowns.” Having a standardized proof of vaccination is also a reliable and secure way to show someone’s COVID-19 vaccination history.
Canada has been communicating with foreign governments around the world for recognition and acceptance for the new vaccination passport. Trudeau has mentioned at a news conference that he is “very confident” that other countries will accept the passport.
How to get the vaccination passport
The standardized vaccination passport is issued by Canada’s provinces and territories for citizens who are vaccinated and registered with their province’s or territory’s health authorities. Passport rollouts differ by province or territory; once it becomes available, it can be downloaded onto a smartphone or printed out. Canadians can check on availability to download or print the passport here.
For those who do not yet have the passport available to them, they can continue to use their provincial proof of vaccination receipt.
According to the Government of Canada, having a vaccination passport does not necessarily mean that the traveller can enter another country. Canadians are encouraged to check the requirements for entering the country they will travel to before the start of their trip.
Canada lifts non-essential travel advisory
For the first time since March 2020, Canada’s federal government has lifted its advisory to avoid non-essential international travels. The Government of Canada now urges all citizens to by fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days before going on a trip. Travellers should also keep up-to-date with COVID-19 conditions and follow public health guidelines at their travel destinations.