Around the world, vaccination rates are increasing and countries are reopening their borders. The Government of Canada is collaborating with the provinces and territories to develop a proof of vaccination that will facilitate cross-border travel. This will support the re-opening of societies and economies while also reducing the risk of spread and importation of COVID-19.
“Thanks to the incredible progress that Canadians have made, our country is reopening — gradually, cautiously, and guided by public health. 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,” says Immigration minister Marco Mendicino.
The focus is on a digital proof of vaccination
The proof of vaccination credentials will provide foreign border officials with the vaccination history needed to assess whether a traveller meets their public health requirements, and provide a trusted and verifiable credential for when they return home.
Travellers will be able to submit their proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN (mobile app or Canada.ca/ArriveCAN) when coming back to Canada. While the focus is on a digital proof of vaccination, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says, “We will also make sure that these documents are accessible for all Canadians who may need to use them.”
According to the announcement made by IRCC, the government is “also continuing to engage with Indigenous leaders across the country to ensure that a proof of vaccination credential responds to the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples.” This includes ensuring the program is equitable and accessible and takes into account the needs of Indigenous communities, including Canada-U.S. border communities.
Canadians who do not have proof of vaccination can travel outside the country, but they may have to quarantine or meet other requirements at their destination country, and they will be subject to mandatory quarantine and testing upon return to Canada.
It’s advised that people check the Government of Canada’s travel advice and advisories, as well as the entry and public health requirements of their destination country, before booking a trip.
Currently, there is no international consensus on acceptable proof of vaccination, but Canada is working with international partners to recognize proof of vaccination credentials issued in the country.
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 (or a certified translation) if they want to be eligible for the exemption from quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements.
Canadians who currently need proof they were vaccinated can contact their province or territory for the record or receipt of vaccination if they don’t already have it. More information is available at Canada.ca/vaccine-proof.
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