Here's How To Get Canada's Vaccine Passport & Use It When You Travel

From your phone to the airport and beyond! ✈️

Trending Senior Staff Writer
Here's How To Get Canada's Vaccine Passport & Use It When You Travel

The federal government has unveiled Canada's vaccine passport for travel and you might have some questions.

If you're wondering how to find out if you have the national standardized proof of vaccination, how you can get it and how to use it when you travel, here's everything you need to know.

How to tell if your proof of vaccination is standardized

As of November 30, all of the provinces and territories have the standardized certificate in use. So, there's a good chance you already have the Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination downloaded onto your phone or printed out.

You can tell if your version is in the Canadian standard because it will have "COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination" at the top and the official logo of your province or territory in the upper left corner along with the official Government of Canada logo (the word "Canada" with the Canadian flag above the last "a") in the upper right corner.

It will have your name, date of birth and COVID-19 vaccination history, including the number of doses, the vaccine type, product names and lot numbers, the dates the doses were administered and a SMART Health Cards QR code.

The national standard is also in both English and French.

The QR code on your proof of vaccination includes your COVID-19 vaccination history and can include additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine you received. The only medical information shown is your COVID-19 vaccination history.

How to get Canada's vaccine passport

Since provinces and territories implemented the national standard at different times, you might already have it if you've saved it to your phone or printed it out. But if you haven't done that yet, there are different ways you can get it.

On this federal government website, every province and territory is listed with a link that takes you to the provincial or territorial government site where you can get official documentation confirming that you're fully vaccinated.

You can also use this tool, which lets you select your province or territory to find out if it's available there and other information about the proof of vaccination.

For example, Ontarians can get their proof of vaccination QR code — which has been in the national standard for a while now — by going to the provincial government's COVID-19 vaccination portal and inputting the numbers from the front and back of their green photo health card along with other personal information.

How to use your proof of vaccination for travel

As of October 30, proof of vaccination must be shown by air passengers on domestic or international flights departing from airports in Canada, rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains and marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels on trips lasting 24 hours or more. This rule currently applies to people aged 12 and older.

A negative COVID-19 test is no longer an acceptable alternative to showing proof of full vaccination when travelling in Canada as of November 30. However, it is possible to receive an exemption.

When travelling internationally, you'll need to show proof of vaccination to board a plane, train or cruise ship when you leave Canada.

You might also be required to show proof of vaccination when you arrive in the stopover or destination country. Since every country doesn't have the same vaccine requirements, federal government officials are recommending that you check what your destination needs from you before you travel.

Justin Trudeau and federal government officials believe that Canada's standardized certificate will be accepted worldwide.

The PM also said that when travelling by air, travellers can expect "no actual slow down" at airports because proving vaccination will just be one extra step in the virtual check-in process.

He explained that passengers will be able to have their QR code scanned when checking in virtually and then receive a boarding pass that clearly states that they're fully vaccinated.

When returning to Canada, you need to upload your proof of vaccination to the ArriveCAN app or website up to 72 hours before you arrive back in Canada or before you board a plane.

If you already have the app downloaded to your smart device, make sure you have the latest version — it was recently updated to digitally verify the authenticity of the new Canadian proof of vaccination.

The government advises that you should bring a digital and paper copy of your certificate with you when you travel. Bon voyage!

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

Lisa Belmonte
Trending Senior Staff Writer
Lisa Belmonte is a Senior Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on government of Canada jobs and is based in Ontario.
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