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PM Trudeau teases 'working with allies' for a COVID-19 vaccine certificate to resume travel -- eventually

Elisabetta Bianchini
·2-min read

As some countries begin to think about vaccine passports or certifications to resume international travel, Canada's prime minister is teasing that the country has plans to use a similar approach.

"As people start to travel again, perhaps this summer if everything goes well, it would make sense for us to align with partners around the world on some sort of proof of vaccination or vaccine certification," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference on Tuesday. "We are now working with allies, particularly in Europe, on that."

The prime minister continues to stress that now is not the time travel.

"We are all hopeful we’re going to get back to normal in the coming months and start travelling again but the reality is, we’re not there yet," he said. "We’re still very much in a third wave, we still need to get more and more people vaccinated across this country, and get those numbers down."

How is Europe moving forward with travel restrictions?

On Monday, the European Commission confirmed an official proposal for Member States ease the current restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU.

"The Commission proposes to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorized vaccine. This could be extended to vaccines having completed the WHO emergency use listing process," the information reads

"In addition, the Commission proposes to raise, in line with the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the EU, the threshold related to the number of new COVID-19 cases used to determine a list of countries from which all travel should be permitted."

The proposal also states that travel to the EU be allowed for anyone who has been fully vaccinated, meaning receiving the full course of doses, at least 14 days before arrival.

The Commission is working on a rollout of its vaccine certificate across the EU by June 2021. This would provide proof of being vaccinated, proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19.

There would be a digital version with a QR code that contains the relevant information, in addition to a paper version.

If the decision is made to waive the requirement of a negative PCR test or quarantine for vaccinated people in that region, the same measures should be removed for travellers from outside the EU.

It also includes an "emergency break" measure that could allow for travel limitations due to concerns around the importation of COVID-19 variants of concern.