The Canadian government is set to make Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine passports mandatory for travelers entering the country. This includes Americans who want to cross the border
. Government ministers claim that the Canadian public supports its push for vaccine passports.
Talking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,
Canadian Minister of Health Patty Hajdu said the country would "absolutely" take part in a vaccine passport program
. He also confirmed that it was currently in talks with other Group of Seven (G7) nations regarding the rollout of a unified vaccine passport scheme.
"Canadians need to be able to have the right kind of certification for international travel because, as we know, Canadians will want to travel internationally, and they will want to make sure they have the right credentials to do that from a vaccination perspective," said Hajdu during the radio show.
Hajdu said that she is regularly meeting with the health ministers of other G7 nations regarding what a vaccine passport would look like. She is also talking with them on how to approach the creation of such a passport in a standardized manner.
She believes that Canada will be able to easily fast-track the creation of a vaccine passport by adapting an app that already exists in the country.
"From our perspective, we have a bit of a head start in terms of entry into Canada in that we have ArriveCAN, the app that allows for digital proof of testing, for example, now, and a variety of other documents that people have to submit to enter Canada," said Hajdu. "We will be working with our international partners to make sure that whatever the world lands on, Canadians will have documents in the appropriate format."
ArriveCAN is an app developed by the Canadian government to help travelers comply with border measures
and provide the government with digital proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19. Travelers flying into Canada are already required to submit an extensive amount of health information electronically through ArriveCAN before they even board their flight.
Some of the information travelers are required to submit includes travel and contact information, a detailed plan for quarantine or registration with a government-authorized quarantine hotel and an assessment of whether the person has exhibited symptoms of COVID-19. (Related: Aviation industry leaders push back on the Stalineque push for "vaccine passports" in order to fly
Canadians believe vaccine passports are essential and effective
Hajdu's remarks were similar to those made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said during a press conference that vaccine certifications are already a part of international travel, and COVID-19 vaccine passports are "naturally to be expected when it comes to this pandemic and the coronavirus."
"How we actually roll that out in alignment with partners and allies around the world, it's something that we're working on right now," said Trudeau.
"Our responsibility is to do everything necessary to protect Canadians, and we are going to do that, even if there isn't automatically symmetry with other countries
Certain Canadian leaders are concerned about how Americans will react to the country's vaccine passport. Member of parliament Yves-Francois Blanchet, the leader of the political party Bloc Quebecois, pointed out that the U.S. does not seem willing to require vaccine passports even for international travelers.
Despite some reservations regarding how the U.S. will react, Canadian leaders like Hajdu and Trudeau seem undeterred. This is especially since a recent Ipsos
survey for the World Economic Forum found that most Canadians are in favor of vaccine passports.
The survey, conducted between March 26 and April 9 and involving around 1,000 Canadians, found that there is strong support in the country for requiring travelers to carry vaccine passports if they want to enter the border. Seventy-eight percent agree with this, including 56 percent who strongly agree.
Furthermore, 72 percent of Canadians believe that vaccine passports would be able to make travel and participating in large events safe. And 61 percent of Canadians believe only people who have been fully vaccinated should be allowed to participate in actions that involve large groups of people, such as riding public transportation, flying and attending large events like sporting matches.
"We continue to plan for how we reopen the economy, how we reopen our borders, how we get back to normal," said Trudeau.
Learn more about the plan to push for vaccine passports in Canada, the United States and in other parts of the world at Pandemic.news