Canada backing vaccine passports, health minister says

Canada looks set to back coronavirus ‘vaccine passports’ to allow residents to travel internationally, according to the country’s health minister.

Patty Hajdu told CBC radio show “The House” the country would “absolutely” be taking part in such a programme and is in conversation with G7 nations about the rollout of a 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,” she said.

“I’m meeting on a regular basis with my G7 counterparts and this is an ongoing conversation about how that might look.”

Her comments give a more firm indication of the direction Canada is taking regarding vaccine passports, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said vaccine passports were “naturally to be expected” but provided limited details about whether the country was committed to the move.

“As was the case pre-pandemic, certificates of vaccination are a part of international travel to certain regions and 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,” Mr Trudeau said last months, CTV News reported.

“We continue to plan for how we reopen the economy, how we reopen our borders, how we get back to normal,” he added.

The concept of vaccine passports – seen as many to being an essential move to reopening the travel industry – have proved controversial in many countries. In the US, governors of several states, including Mississippi, Florida and Arizona, have raised concerns that vaccine passports infringe upon civil liberties.

In Texas, governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order stating that government agencies can’t demand a vaccine passport in order to provide services.

“Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” he said.

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