The Manitoba government is introducing a vaccine passport to allow fully vaccinated Manitobans to travel between provinces without needing to quarantine on return.

According to Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, immunization and vaccine passports are “the way back” to a time before COVID-19. 

“I’m cognizant that we don’t want to take away rights and freedoms from people, at the same time COVID is doing that for us. The sooner we can get as many as possible vaccinated in Manitoba, the better off we’re all going to be,” said Pallister. 

“The vaccine can help us to get our lives back out if we choose to get it. I encourage everyone to do this… This is the way back to a time when we could see friends and visit with our friends and loved one and when travel was not a privilege given to some.”

Pallister also suggested that vaccine passports should be seen as a benefit for those who want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Civil liberty groups like the Canadian Constitution Foundation and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) have cautioned against the “troubling” implications vaccine passports might have on fundamental freedoms. 

“There are a variety of reasons why the concept of a vaccination passport is a troubling one. First, the science doesn’t support their utility. But beyond that, even if they were perfectly effective, they raise significant risks to rights and freedoms,” writes the CCLA.

This week the federal government also announced it would be easing travel restrictions for fully-vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents. 

According to Health Minister Patty Hajdu, those who have received two shots of an approved vaccine will be able to skip the mandatory hotel quarantine requirement beginning in early July. 

Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received criticism after it was revealed that he would have a special hotel reserved for him and other Canadian officials upon returning from the latest G7 summit in the UK.