Canada: certificate for air travel

Canada has launched a national digital COVID-19 vaccine travel certificate required for all air and rail travel. From the end of this month, Canadians will not be able to board a plane for foreign or domestic travel without this proof-of-vaccination certificate. All Canadian medical tourists going to Cuba, Mexico or the USA by air will be required to have the certificate.

The Canadian digital travel document has a QR code for scanning at airports, train stations and other entry points. It has a Canadian identifying mark and meets major international smart health card standards. The document includes a person’s name, date of birth and COVID-19 vaccine history including which doses a person received and when they were inoculated.

Some provinces, including Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and all three northern territories, have already started using the national standard for a proof-of-vaccination certificate.

Despite high vaccine uptake, the government hopes this new credential will encourage even more Canadians to get vaccinated.

Canada has been dealing with pockets of vaccine resistance, especially in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, where lower vaccination rates have helped fuel a fourth wave of the virus, overwhelming hospitals and intensive care units.

From October 30, 2021, all air passengers flying on domestic, transborder or international flights departing from airports in Canada, rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, and marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages of 24 hours or more- will not be allowed on board without proof of vaccination.

From November 30, 2021, Canadians will not be able to board a plane for foreign or domestic travel without this proof-of-vaccination certificate that replaces all local ones. There are very limited exceptions to address specific situations such as emergency travel, and those medically unable to be vaccinated.

The land border between Canada and the US will reopen to fully vaccinated travellers making non-essential trips on November 8.

Canada has scrapped an official advisory urging its citizens to shun non-essential foreign travel, given its successful campaign to inoculate people against COVID-19. Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, issued a timeline to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions, with the aim of removing all proof of vaccination and mask requirements by March 2022.