Everything you need to know about Canada's COVID-19 vaccine passport for travel
The federal government unveiled its plans for a standardized COVID-19 vaccine passport system on Thursday.
Beginning October 30, all travellers 12 and up will require a vaccine passport for travel on federally regulated flights, rail travel, and marine travel.
The new international vaccine passport will use the SMART Health Card that some provinces, including BC and Ontario, use for their vaccine passports, according to the federal government.
“As of today, so far we have, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and all three territories, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon who already have put into use the national standard for proof of vaccination,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference on Thursday.
He added that it can be downloaded, printed, or mailed to Canadians.
“All other provinces have agreed, and are working hard to come online, so that as Canadians look to start travelling again there will be a standardized proof of vaccination certificate that, as we said, we will be picking up the tab for at the federal level to ensure that all provinces are able to do it,” he said.
The Canadian proof of vaccination will show the passenger’s name and date of birth, along with their COVID-19 vaccine history. The templated image shows that the passport will include the Canada logo on the top right and the name of the province on the top left.
Currently, travellers wishing to enter Canada must download the ArriveCAN app and put their proof of vaccination and PCR tests in the app 72 hours before their arrival in Canada. This also applies to Canadian travellers returning to Canada.
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How to get proof of vaccination
Travellers can get their proof of vaccination through their provincial vaccine programs. Not all provinces and territories use the SMART Health Card, but for those that do, you can use the Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination. If your province doesn’t use the SMART Health Card, you can use your province’s proof of vaccination for travel.
If your province doesn’t offer the SMART Health Card, it is advised to check back with the government website frequently as they will rollout the Canadian proof of vaccination soon, according to the website.
You’ll be able to save it to your phone, mobile wallet or print a paper document.
To get your proof of vaccination from your province or territory, you’ll need to head to the provincial websites:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Canada considers a traveller fully vaccinated if it is has been at least 14 days since their second dose, or first dose if it is a single-dose vaccine approved vaccine. Vaccines accepted by Canada are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
As of November 8, 2021, Canadians vaccinated with any combination of 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by US regulators or the World Health Organization will be considered fully vaccinated and able to enter the United States.
How to use internationally
Proof of vaccination is required to board a plane, train, or cruise ship.
Canadians travelling internationally must ensure they check the country’s requirements for vaccination before booking a trip. Not all countries accept mixed vaccine doses. It’s also important to check what type of proof of vaccination the country you’re travelling to will need, whether it be a digital or physical copy.
It’s important to check each countries public health guidelines as some may require isolation periods, while others do not.
How to use in Canada
As borders reopen around the world, proof-of-vaccination will be required in most countries. Nearly all Canadians are required to submit proof of vaccination for travel, even within Canada, as it is required for federally regulated modes of transportation.
Beginning October 30, all Canadian travellers using a plane, train, or marine travel within Canada will require proof of vaccination. There will be a grace period until November 30 to allow travellers to get fully vaccinated. During that time, travellers who are partially vaccinated can show a negative molecular COVID-19 test.
This applies to all travellers who are 12 years of age and older.
How to use your proof when you return to Canada
“All travellers entering Canada must follow entry requirements to keep everyone safe. This includes Canadian citizens,” states the federal government.
“Your vaccination status may exempt you from quarantine and some testing requirements. You can check COVID-19 travel information to find out which rules apply to you.”
The federal government recommends you upload your proof of vaccination before you return to ArriveCAN:
- Download the most recent version of the mobile app ArriveCAN app or use the web version.
- You’ll need to upload your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN up to 72 hours before arrival in Canada or before you board your plane.
What happens if there are issues with your QR Code?
The government warned that some countries might not be able to scan the QR code on your proof of vaccination.
They say if this happens, you can show the vaccination history available on the digital or paper copy of your proof of vaccination.