'Continuity is important': Cambridge travel agent questions federal vaccine passport plan

The Federal government unveiled its national COVID-19 vaccine passport for travel on Thursday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federally approved passports will be issued by each province and territory. That means the provincial vaccine proof receipts, QR codes and paperwork will continue to be the main way Canadians will show their vaccination status while travelling.

"It’s a step in the right direction,” said Peggy McKnight, franchise owner of Marlin Travel in Cambridge.

McKnight said as travel restrictions continue to ease, more people are booking vacations. But she said there is still confusion about travelling internationally.

“There is a lot of uncertainty for us Canadians because we want to make sure we can travel and be accepted,” she said.

She said while she agrees vaccine passports are a good idea, she would have preferred to see a federally issued passport, as opposed to each province rolling out its own QR code.

“I think it should be a federal mandate that its done for all provinces,” McKnight said. “Continuity is important as we move forward through this pandemic.”

McKnight is urging the federal government to remove its requirement to show a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before entering the province.

“We’re hoping that with this digital platform that will be eliminated, that as Canadians we would not have to comply with that," she said, adding the requirement is costly to international travellers, deterring some people from travelling.

“When you look at a family, for example, some resorts are charging $150USD per person to have thee covid-19 test completed. This adds a lot of money to ones vacation plans,” McKnight said.

She said while there are some unanswered questions when it comes to travel, she said steps are being taken in the right direction.