Canada COVID-19 travel change: Canadians may have to show proof of vaccination to take a trip

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated at a press conference on Friday that Canada is working on a proof of vaccination for Canadians who wish to travel, with the initial phase set to come into effect for summer travel.

Trudeau said that for the initial phase, the federal government is working with the ArriveCAN app to allow individuals to upload a picture of their proof of vaccination so border agent can confirm they are fully vaccinated.

"That is something that we will have in place in the coming weeks so that people can have a few more options, if they’re fully vaccinated, this summer," the prime minister said.

He added that for the fall, the federal government is working with provinces on a national certification of vaccine status that will be "easily accepted around the world."

"The provinces, of course, have your health data and your vaccination status, and we want to make sure we’re both protecting privacy and protecting jurisdictions," Trudeau said.

Earlier on Friday, Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced that the restrictions on non-essential travel between the Canada-U.S. border will remain in place until July 21.

"As we said, we are looking forward to getting back to normal as soon as possible, but we’re not out of this pandemic yet," Trudeau said.

"At the same time, we also know we have to hit our target of 75 per cent vaccination with the first dose, at least 20 per cent vaccinated with the second dose, before we start loosening things up because even a fully vaccinated individual can pass on COVID-19 to someone who is not vaccinated, and that means we have to really make sure that communities to which they will return are not at risk."

Will you be able to visit U.S. freely if you received AstraZeneca as a vaccine?

The prime minister also spoke about concerns around Canadians who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine not being allowed the same access to travel to or participate in events in the U.S., because it is not an FDA-authorized vaccine.

Trudeau confirmed that the issue of different countries having a different list of approved vaccine has come up and the federal government is "engaged in discussions" with the U.S. and countries to "ensure that people who are protected from COVID-19 are able to travel."

"We hope to be able to resolve those issues in the coming weeks, in time for...loosened restrictions around travel," the prime minister said.