Canada dropping COVID vaccine entry rule for foreign travellers - report

·2-min read

Canada is to drop its requirement for people entering the country to have a COVID-19 vaccine, according to reports.

The Globe and Mail newspaper says it has four sources that have confirmed the Canadian government plans to scrap the rule on 30 September.

The changes, for arrivals at land, air and seaports, have yet to be finalised by the country's cabinet, according to the sources.

The move will apparently come on the same day as it ends random testing of arrivals and makes optional the ArriveCan app, which foreign travellers are currently required to download and use to upload vaccination documents, the paper says.

Back in February, Canada's capital Ottawa was gridlocked by weeks of protest by truck drivers, angry at new COVID-19 legislation that required people crossing the busy US-Canada border to be fully vaccinated.

The Canadian transport ministry announced in mid-January that "essential service providers, including truck drivers" who were previously exempt from compulsory vaccines would have to be inoculated in order to leave the country.

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Angered by the new measures and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's strict COVID policies in general, a coalition of trucker associations and Conservative groups organised a cross-country drive from the west of Canada to the capital.

Spearheaded by the group Canada Unity, the so-called 'Freedom Convoy' saw thousands of trucks travel 3,100 miles to Ottawa, Ontario, which began arriving around 28 January.

A spokesperson for Mr Trudeau's office could not confirm the Globe's report and directed Sky News to a statement from the PM which said the decision on dropping the vaccine requirement "will continue to be looked at in the coming days, months".

It added: "But science, facts, expert recommendations will always be part of our decision choices, and we will share the decisions with you when it is time to make them."

The United States requires all entrants to be vaccinated, and it is not known if the requirement will be lifted at the same time as Canada's.

Foreign travellers arriving in the UK no longer need to be vaccinated, fill in a passenger locator form or take a COVID test.