Should Travellers Need Proof of COVID-19 Vaccine?

Published: June 2, 2021.
Written by: Jane - Destination Specialist, Vancouver.

Should Travellers Need Proof of COVID-19 Vaccine?

 

This is a controversial topic indeed, but an important topic that might turn into a reality when borders re-open.  As more destinations require proof of a negative coronavirus test for travellers entering their countries, there becomes a question around whether or not there should be a mandatory “checkpoint” for travellers to share vaccination cards in order to board a flight now that vaccines are being rolled out.

 

We’re not sure what the right answer is, though we are working in accordance with current government regulations as closely as possible, as they are made available, to ensure safety and transparency for all our travellers.  At time of writing, none of the destinations we sell currently require full vaccination in order to visit, but many have other restrictions in place.  A study published on 26 May, 2021 by Angus Reid Institute reports that “more than three-quarters [of Canadians] say that they would support mandatory vaccination proof for …international travel outside Canada’s southern border (79%)”.  This indicates that there is a strong desire to return to travel with regulatory practices in place ensuring Covid-19 safety.

 

With apps like VeriFLY, which work with select airlines to help vacationers upload needed credentials such as proof of a vaccination, these could become a required action.  The idea of ‘Vaccine Passports’ may become an expected component of travel in the future, especially with destinations where travellers might be in close quarters with one another such as cruise ships.  However, apps like VeriFLY may have benefits too; this would allow users to take advantage of dedicated and expedited entry lanes for airport check-ins, saving the traveller some time.

 

It goes without saying that prior to departure, it is always important to check with local government regulations, as well as current safety measures in place, related to Covid-19.  Your travel advisor will have their ear to the ground when it comes to knowing your destination’s rules and up-to-date government restrictions.  According to the CDC’s website, it is not recommended to travel unless you are fully vaccinated (two-doses). But there isn’t any regulatory body to track these departures.  Returning to Canada, one is required to immediately isolate for 14 days.

 

It’s important to note that at this time, it is only some governments that require travelers to be vaccinated upon entry, not airlines or hotels or to participate in various travel activities. There are, however, health and safety protocols such as keeping 6-feet apart, wearing a mask, minimized touchpoints, etc. For information on government travel restrictions, always check in with a travel advisor or seek information directly from your intended destination’s government resources. To see which countries are currently open to international travellers, click here.