With no press release or media announcement, the Canadian government quietly removed its advisory against non-essential travel for Canadians that it’s had on its Travel Advice and Advisory website since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was first declared.
Until yesterday, the website had a blanket statement that advised against all non-essential travel, stating that Canadians should “Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.” It also advised to avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada until further notice.
While the advisory against cruise travel remains in place, the advice against non-essential travel has been removed but only for those who have been fully vaccinated. The advisory states that: You should be fully vaccinated by completing a COVID-19 vaccine series in Canada or abroad at least 14 days before travelling. Be aware that although you are better protected against serious illness if you are vaccinated, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19.
If you’re unvaccinated, you remain at increased risk of being infected with and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 when travelling internationally. You should continue avoiding non-essential travel to all destinations.
The site also notes that regardless of your vaccination status, Canadians should:
- stay informed of COVID-19 activity at your destination, which can vary significantly and change quickly from one country to another and within regions of the country
- use personal protective measures (like wearing a mask, washing hands and maintaining physical distancing where possible)
- follow any additional local public health measures while travelling
- avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada
- check Canadian travel requirements
The lifting of the advisory against non-essential travel comes just as Canada announced a new vaccine passport program for international travel. Yesterday the government announced that a standardized Canadian Covid-19 proof of vaccination for travel is now available to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. The standardized Covid-19 proof of vaccination will be available in the other provinces soon (though no specific date was given). Trudeau said that Canada is also engaging with international partners to obtain recognition and acceptance abroad, so the proof can also be used to facilitate travel around the world.
“Canadians have done their part by getting vaccinated against Covid-19 to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. As new vaccine requirements roll out for travellers, we are working to ensure that those who travel have access to a reliable, secure way to demonstrate their Covid-19 vaccinations, both at home and abroad. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners so this standardized proof is available across Canada,” said Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.
The press release notes that the “Canadian Covid-19 proof of vaccination provides Canadians a reliable and secure way to demonstrate their Covid-19 vaccination history, both in Canada and abroad. It is issued by provinces and territories to individuals who are vaccinated and registered with their provincial or territorial health authority. The proof of vaccination can also be used with ArriveCAN, the mobile app and website for travellers to submit mandatory information when arriving in Canada from other countries.”