Next Monday, the Canadian government will lift the requirement for travelers to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before boarding any plane or train in the country.
On the other hand, vaccination requirements for entry into Canada, as well as quarantine and screening rules for Canadians who are under-vaccinated, remain unaffected. “All travelers entering Canada must continue to comply with all entry requirements, including vaccinations and use of ArriveCAN” – an app that contains their vaccination record – which allows them to travel from one corner of the country to the other by plane or train, without having to re-present her vaccination card, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra summed up at a press conference on Parliament Hill on Tuesday afternoon.
On the other hand, travelers need to make sure they have proof of vaccination on hand if their destination country — the United States, for example — requires one, he said.
In addition to travelers traveling by air or rail, transportation sector workers under federal regulations, as well as federal officials, including Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) personnel, will no longer be required starting next Monday. proof of vaccination to be submitted.
However, the federal government is not prepared to follow in the footsteps of the federal states, which have dropped the obligation to wear mouth and nose covers in public spaces and on public transport. Travelers will still be required to wear the mask on planes and trains, although it’s “a minor inconvenience” for some, Mr Alghabra said.
The “adjustments” to health measures announced on Tuesday “are based on scientific evidence” rather than the latest statistics on airport wait times, Intergovernmental Affairs Secretary Dominic LeBlanc stressed.
For the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), “it was time that vaccination requirements for travel into national territory were suspended”. “The sectors that have been hardest hit by the pandemic and the restrictions over the past two years will be able to breathe easy,” she argued.
Heading towards a mandatory third dose?
For his part, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos urged Canadians to “update” their vaccination status by the fall, when COVID-19 could launch a new offensive. “In plain language, this means that if you qualify for a third or even fourth dose under public health recommendations, you should get it as soon as possible,” he said. Before specifying that “two doses are no longer enough because the immunity acquired thanks to the two doses of the current vaccine decreases over time”.
To date, more than 31 million Canadians, or 86% of the eligible population, have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses. However, the proportion of those who have received their booster shot (55% of those over 12) is ‘too low’. Canada records “the rate is the lowest among the G7 countries and that’s not good,” noted Mr. Duclos.