British Columbians looking to travel now have the option to download the new federal proof of vaccination — but there are a few things to consider before you book a flight.
On Oct. 29, Canada's vaccine card was made available to B.C. residents looking to travel in Canada and internationally.
"The federal government is launching a proof of vaccination card to ensure that people who want to travel have what they need to do so," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. "The federal card can be accessed in the same way as the BC Vaccine Card, which 3.7 million British Columbians have downloaded to enjoy non-essential activities throughout our province, such as dining in restaurants or attending a sporting event. By ensuring all of us are fully vaccinated, we can do more with the people we love, safely."
Two doses of any federally approved COVID-19 vaccines, with the second dose administered at least 14 days before travel, are required to be considered fully vaccinated. Canadians who are not fully vaccinated must complete testing requirements and mandatory quarantine when returning to Canada.
B.C.'s Vaccine Card will continue to be used for non-essential activities in B.C., including going to a restaurant or sporting event.
The Government of Canada has also indicated it will allow people in B.C. to use the BC Vaccine Card to travel within Canada until Nov. 30, while the new federal proof of vaccination is rolled out.
How to get your federal proof of vaccination
Similar to the BC Vaccine Card, B.C. residents are now eligible to apply for the documents by,
- logging in to their Health Gateway account and saving or printing the federal COVID-19 proof of vaccination
- requesting it by phone or visiting a Service BC office
The document for B.C. will:
- say “COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination” at the top of the document
- the official logos for
- your province or territory
- the Government of Canada (the word “Canada” with the Canadian flag above the last “a”)
- your full name and date of birth
- your COVID-19 vaccination history, including:
- the number of dose(s)
- the vaccine type(s), product name(s) and lot number
- the date(s) you got your vaccination(s)
- a SMART Health Cards QR code
- the official logos for
- be a bilingual document
This proof does not guarantee you entry to another country. Before you travel, you must check the rules of your destination country and the countries you transit through.
How does it work?
Once you get your Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination, you can access it
- as a file on a mobile device, computer or mobile wallet (if your device supports the SMART Health Card format) or
- on paper, by printing the PDF file with the QR code
Holders at airports will scan their QR codes at check-in to receive a mark on their boarding passes confirming their vaccination status.
If you travel, you’ll need to present your proof of vaccination and another form of identification, such as your passport or status card.
- Your name and date of birth will be checked against your other ID, such as your passport or status card.
- Your proof of vaccination and your passport or status card are separate documents and are not digitally connected.
- Your Canadian passport or status card does not contain vaccination information.
Check advisories for your destination
No matter where you plan to travel, make sure you check the Travel Advice and Advisories page for your destination twice: once when you are planning your trip, and again shortly before you leave.
Safety and security conditions may change between the date you book your travel and your departure date.
Find more information about entering the country with the Government of Canada's pre-travel checklists.
When you return to Canada, you must use ArriveCAN to submit your travel and health details in the 72 hours before your arrival back in the country.
With files from the Canadian Press and Tyler Orton.