Canada presents the vaccination passport for international travel: as of November 30, you will not be able to fly without it

OTTAWA: Fully vaccinated Canadians traveling abroad or boarding planes and interprovincial trains will be able to display a province-issued vaccine passport with a machine-readable black and white QR code and the well-known Canadian word mark and leaf flag maple on the end. “A”, and as of November 30, you will not be able to fly without it.

Federal officials say they are confident that other countries will accept the standardized “pan-Canadian” document, but that work is being done to ensure international partners are familiar with it and can recognize it as Canada’s proof of vaccination card.

In most provinces, the new vaccination proof can now be downloaded digitally to smartphones or printed out in hard copy, officials said. The rest are expected to be available before November 30.

The government had already announced that as of October 30, passengers leaving Canadian airports or traveling on Vía interprovincial trains must be fully vaccinated and, for now, they can use any document that their province has issued.

But by November 30, all provinces will provide the new QR-coded forms marked with the word Canada, and these will serve as the international travel document that should allow Canadians to more easily travel abroad.

In a background briefing before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touting progress in the development of the “pan-Canadian” standard, officials told reporters that there is no single internationally accepted proof of vaccination document and that the situation is “fluid”. “

However, they trust that the design of the documents with a QR code that will be issued by the provinces and territories contains all the security measures to prevent manipulation and falsification, and will be accepted.

One official, who informed journalists on the condition that they were not identified, said there had been discussions about a document issued by the federal government, but that it had “limited value” to duplicate the databases of provinces and territories that contain the medical data and vaccination information of its residents.

He said that just as Canadian passports can be issued from offices in different provinces and are all considered official Canadian documents, the different proofs of vaccination issued by the provinces should be considered official Canadian documents.

The standardized document will contain the full name of the holder, date of birth, vaccination status, number of doses, type of vaccine, name of the product and batch number, and the date of vaccination.

It will not contain other medical information and the QR code does not contain additional identifying information.

Right now, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon are already issuing the newly standardized document.

The bottom line, says a government background document, is that each country “decides what type of proof of vaccination is required, the types of vaccines they accept, the number of doses required, and any exemptions from public health measures. Even with a Canadian COVID-19 vaccination test, a traveler may not be considered fully vaccinated in another country. “

Authorities say travelers must still register in their destination country to see what their entry requirements are.

Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are only approved and available for people 12 years of age and older, but Pfizer-BioNTech requested Health Canada approval of a pediatric version of its mRNA vaccine for people ages 5 to 11 on Monday.

On Thursday, Trudeau announced that “as soon as” Health Canada approves that request, the government signed an agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech to administer sufficient doses of pediatric vaccines for that age group. The agreement requires Pfizer-BioNTech to supply 2.9 million doses.

But he also stressed that even though many parents are eager to get their children vaccinated, Health Canada “will take the time” to ensure that it is “completely safe and effective.”

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Reference-www.thestar.com

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