After being careful for months about the vaccine passport idea, it appears the Trudeau government has finally embraced the idea, at least when it comes to international travel.
Several countries are preparing to require proof of vaccination to cross their borders.
According to Federal Health Minister Patricia Hajdu, it is now accepted that it will be necessary to carry a vaccination certificate or a vaccination passport to travel abroad, at least until the end of the epidemic.
Canadians need a certificate suitable for international travel. We know that people will want to travel when the epidemic is under control and they will want a certificate of vaccination to do so.The minister explained on the CBC broadcast waves.
I meet regularly with my G7 counterparts and the dialogue continues.
Ottawa, for its part, will also have to determine how Canada’s border services will know whether or not people arriving at our borders are immune to COVID-19.
That is why Ottawa is developing a unified approach and international standards with other countries in order to make these controls as simple and effective as possible. It would be a matter of documents containing QR codes or mobile apps, for example.
Canada will also have a head start on this type of control. Through the ArriveCAN app, which has already been established in the country, overseas travelers to Canada can send mandatory information to border services before their arrival via their mobile phone. This facilitates customs controls.
However, there will not be an international consensus on hand for now on what form a future international certificate of vaccination will take.
Discussions have already progressed well, however, in Europe, as the European Commission is actively discussing with Washington in anticipation of a possible improvement in US tourism in Europe in the coming months.
The European Union is also preparing a vaccination passport that will allow vaccinated people to travel freely in Europe.
Some countries are already using it
Several countries including Israel and Denmark, in particular, have introduced paper or phone vaccination passports with QR codes that allow you to obtain various services or access non-essential stores, cinemas, restaurants and theaters for those who received two doses of the vaccine. Close to the house, the state of New York also introduced the Excelsior Pass, which works on the same principle.
It goes without saying that imposing proof of vaccination for travel abroad or entering Canada raises questions and reservations with regard to protecting the privacy and personal information of individuals, especially at the medical level.
Others see this approach as a roundabout way to enforce vaccination.
Ottawa responds that proof of vaccination, especially against yellow fever, was required for decades to travel to certain countries without this being a particular problem.