After a year and a half of shutdowns and quarantines, Canada is taking the somewhat controversial step of introducing vaccine passports.
Canada’s Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, announced the vaccine passport as a means for Canadians to safely start international travel once more
Keeping in line with locations such as Europe who completed rolling out their EU Digital COVID Certificate in July 2021, the Canadian Vaccine Passport will be uniform across all provinces and territories and include the passport holder’s vaccination history: the dates, vaccine type and location where they received their shot.
“We are working actively with the provinces and territories on a secure, pan-Canadian proof of vaccination for international travel,” Mendicino stated.
The certificate will be digital, with a paper option for those who cannot or do not want a digital document and will be available to all fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents living in Canada.
While the passport is being designed with international travel in mind, the federal government will work with provinces that’d like to participate in using it as a domestic tool, also.
The decision to utilize domestic vaccine passports for access to non-essential activities like eating out in restaurants, congregating in bars, attending festivals and using gyms etc. will remain within the provinces.
Quebec is the first province to get on board, stating they will be implementing a Covid-19 vaccine passport as of September 1st. Ontario’s Premier, on the other hand, has maintained a firm stance that his government will not implement a vaccine passport and the province of Alberta, which has already gone maskless and is loosening Covid rules considerably next week are also against the use of a vaccine passport.
Prime Minister Trudeau is leaving it up to each province and territory to make its own decision about the use of domestic passports- similar to how the US is allowing each state governor to make the best decision for his or her state.
It is said the vaccine passports will be ready to go in the fall after the federal government gathers all the vaccination data from each province and territory.