Health Minister Patty Hajdu says Canada is discussing the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine passport with other G7 countries.
Speaking on CTV’s Question Period on Sunday, Hajdu said Canada is engaging in “very live” conversations on requiring proof of vaccination in order to travel internationally.
“We’re certainly working on the idea of vaccine passports with our G7 partners,” Hajdu said.
“I was on a call with my G7 health minister counterparts just a couple of weeks ago and that is a very live issue.”
Hajdu said that other unspecified nations and industry groups are eager to see a vaccine passport launched internationally. While she did not say if Canada is leading these conversations, she did add that the Trudeau government is hesitant to implement a vaccine passport as so few Canadians have been immunized so far.
“We’ll be coming back to Canadians as we understand more about the intentions of our counterparts internationally, and as we understand more about how that will unfold around the world,” she explained.
Most recently, the European Union announced it will create a digital vaccine passport that would also permit vaccinated individuals to travel freely through the Schengen Area.
Canada’s rate of vaccination lags significantly behind other Western countries.
When asked if vaccine passports may be required to travel within Canada, Hajdu said that conversation has not been held with provincial leaders.
“We know that different provinces and territories have taken different stances around domestic travel, and of course, while COVID-19 is raging in parts of the country, often we will hear the requests by different parts of the country to just stay put, to resist the urge to travel even domestically,” she said.
“What I can say is that the health ministers are always reviewing their own stances on interprovincial travel.”