Stamp of approval: Vaccine certificates may be needed to travel

As more Canadians become vaccinated, the desire to start travelling again is on the horizon.

There are still many questions in terms of how vaccine passports could work, as different countries will have different policies in place, says Julia Kent, director of public and government affairs with CAA Atlantic.

“We want to make sure that whatever travel we’re doing, whether it be interprovincially or internationally, that it's safe," Kent says.

“There’s certainly appears to be perks for fully vaccinated people, not just in Canadian jurisdictions but around the world.”

For the time being, Canadians may want to hold onto the vaccine certificates that some received after getting their shot, as they may be needed in order to travel.

“I think that will play a role as we first open up…whether we’re bringing in people from other provinces or from the U.S., we would want to have an idea that they’ve been vaccinated,” says New Brunswick’s Premier Blaine Higgs.

The topic of vaccine passports will likely come up in future meetings with the prime minister, says Higgs, though he is doubtful that official vaccine passports will be needed.

“The last discussion we had was a week or so ago and there were provinces that were very much against it and provinces that said 'look we’re fine if someone’s carrying it… the passport may be your slip showing that you’ve been vaccinated',” says Higgs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed concerns about requiring Canadians to show proof of vaccination, meaning it may be up to each province to implement vaccine passports or certificates when entering.

Liberal opposition leader Roger Melanson believes there needs to be a mutual understanding between all countries in terms of what is required from travellers, in order to avoid confusion.

"The government needs to take this seriously, including the premier of the province, and look at a national initiative in regards to a passport or some sort of a vaccination certification that would be recognized around the world,” says Melanson.

A survey released last month by Leger, a market research and analytics company, showed that the majority of Canadians are in favour of providing proof of vaccination when travelling.

Its data shows "82 per cent of Canadians would be in support of a vaccine passport” says Dave Scholz, executive vice president of Leger.

“There is this definite desire for some sort of recognition that you've been vaccinated and that it allows you to get back to what used to be our normal."

Though the federal government has not yet required an official travel document for those who are vaccinated, New Brunswick’s premier believes vaccination certificates may be all that is needed to travel.