Vaccine proof for travel: Trudeau is ready for asymmetry with Americans

“Ideally, we will have similar measures” on both sides of the border, Prime Minister Trudeau said he hoped. (Photo: Adrian Wilde for the Canadian press)

Justin Trudeau assures that whatever decision Washington makes, his government will be ready to demand proof of the COVID-19 vaccine from anyone who wants to enter Canada.

The prime minister was reluctant to say if the US government had told him if he wanted to show proof of a vaccine in order to possibly cross his border.

During his press conference on Tuesday, Trudeau simply said that Canada is in talks with its allies, in particular with reference to Europeans who are starting to plan to apply such a rule when international travel is allowed again.

“It is obvious that each country will make its own decisions. But we are interested in joining countries that would like to do this, ”he suggested.

“But I cannot speak on behalf of the United States and the decisions it will make about the people who visit the States,” he added.

He recalled that so far Ottawa and Washington have agreed on measures taken on their common border, which has been closed since March 2020 to all but the main workers and the transport of goods.

He expressed the hope that “ideally we will have similar measures” on both sides of the border.

“But we, our responsibility, is to do everything necessary to protect Canadians, and we will do everything necessary to protect Canadians, even if there is no automatic symmetry with other countries,” he said.

The leader of the Quebec bloc did not hesitate to welcome the intention of the Canadian government.

“Canada has the right to unilaterally apply a vaccination passport to enter its territory,” Yves-François Blanchet said at a press briefing Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Conservatives and New Democrats chose not to voice their opinion on the matter. Erin O’Toole, like Jagmit Singh, instead insisted on the need to accelerate vaccination campaigns in Canada before talking about anything else.

So far, Washington has spoken out against imposing proof of the vaccine on activities on its territory, such as access to a business or event.

The G7 foreign ministers are meeting this week in London. Among other things, they discuss the rules of international travel.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a recent interview with The New York Times that US tourists will be allowed to travel to European territory this summer, provided they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

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