The World Forum - May 26th, 2024

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Canada to make ArriveCan optional, drop vaccine requirement at the border by Sept. 30


The federal government plans to drop the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for people who enter Canada by the end of September, the same day it ends random testing of arrivals and makes optional the ArriveCan app.

The changes, for arrivals at land, air and sea ports of entry, are planned for Sept. 30, but have yet to be finalized by cabinet, according to four sources. The Globe and Mail is not naming the sources because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The mask requirement for people on trains and planes will remain, according to two of the sources.

The aviation and travel industries have been pushing the government to relax the rules for international travel, saying they discourage visitors and are out of step with many other countries as the pandemic eases.

Canada’s health measures at airports and border crossings were in line with those of many other countries when they were adopted, but have remained in place for longer.

Most European countries dropped entry requirements related to COVID-19 before summer began, returning to prepandemic standards in a bid to welcome tourists after more than two years of widespread illness, lockdowns and stay-home orders.

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. Although U.S. President Joe Biden declared recently that the pandemic is over, he said COVID-19 is still a problem.

People entering Canada use ArriveCan to submit their customs declarations, vaccination status and travel plans. It has been criticized as cumbersome, and a contributor to the lineups and logjams at many Canadian airports over the summer. The app told some people erroneously that they should go into quarantine.