As the travel industry pressures the government to relax travel restrictions, the federal government plans to launch the first phase of its vaccine certification program for visitors entering the country next month, according to CBC News.
According to a federal government source with direct knowledge, a new feature on the ArriveCan app will go live in early July.
According to the source, the app will allow travellers to take a photo or upload a snapshot of their vaccine documentation before going through customs. The CBC is not naming the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.
In order to address privacy concerns, the information is kept within the app and not transferred elsewhere.
The app update paves the way for the government to gradually ease restrictions on international travel. The federal government announced earlier this month that fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents crossing the border into Canada will no longer be required to stay in a hotel as part of their quarantine period.
Thursday evening, the Prime Minister met with premiers from across the country. According to a senior government source, the majority of the discussion focused on the next steps to reopen the border. According to the source, the discussion was constructive, and all of the premiers agreed that being fully vaccinated was critical.
Health Minister, Patty Hajdu, told reporters in the spring that the topic of vaccine certification had come up during a meeting of G7 health ministers. Since then, discussions with allies have continued on the concept of a passport or certification that would allow citizens of one country to demonstrate to border officials in another country that they are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for the virus.
Provinces must agree to participate
Several government departments are also working on the second phase of proof-of-vaccination documentation, according to the source, and the digital project will use the same technology as Canada's e-passports.
According to the Toronto Star, this phase, which will allow Canadians to digitally verify their vaccination status with the federal government, will not be ready until the fall and will only accept proof of vaccination with one of Canada's four accredited vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson.
This news only emphasizes the importance of starting your Canadian immigration process as soon as possible in order to gain access to benefits such as Canada's incredible and cutting-edge federally-funded healthcare system.