Canada to drop COVID-19 vaccine border rules: sources

The federal government plans to drop its border requirements for COVID-19 vaccines by the end of September and make the ArriveCan app optional, sources confirmed to CTV News.

The government is expected to make the policy change by the end of the month, and the sources said the Liberals will also end exceptional random COVID-19 testing for travellers.

The federal government said in late June that existing border restrictions, including showing proof of vaccination to enter the country, would remain in place until at least September 30. The latest news suggests that the federal government may simply choose not to extend these measures. .

Also in June, the government began allowing unvaccinated Canadians to board planes and trains bound for domestic or international destinations, but they were still required to follow current testing and quarantine requirements when of their return from international destinations. Since this latest update to the border rules related to COVID-19, foreign nationals coming to Canada still had to be vaccinated to enter.

It was not immediately clear exactly what rules related to vaccinations would change at the end of the month, with an announcement expected in the coming days.

It is also unclear whether the United States will follow Canada’s lead. Non-US citizens traveling to the country should always be fully immunized.

And with the Toronto Blue Jays vying for a playoff spot, they could face teams with unvaccinated players who couldn’t visit the city due to existing restrictions.

The move comes after calls from some in the aviation industry and opposition MPs asking the government to drop its pending COVID-19 border rules and scrap the ArriveCan app altogether.

Appearing on CTV’s Power Play on Tuesday, Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault declined to comment specifically on the changes, but said as tourism minister he wanted to make sure the border was also ‘non-sticky’ as possible.

“What I can say (is) that my colleagues and I are going to make sure that we do the right thing to stimulate the economy, but also to keep Canadians safe and to make sure that we move forward in this phase. post-acute from COVID,” he said.

Tory MP Michael Barrett, also appearing on CTV’s Power Play on Tuesday, said it was “high time they scrapped the app”.

“Certainly we support this because it’s based on science and the border communities cried for it,” he said. “Our tourism sector has suffered a lot.”

Appearing alongside Barrett on Power Play, NDP MP Rachel Blaney said people need to be as safe as possible.

“But as things get better, I think we all have to do our best to make sure we’re as welcoming as possible, but we have to do that with caution,” she said.

“But around the ArriveCan app, I’ve just heard so many horror stories, so I really hope this is addressed in a meaningful way.”

With files from CTV National News Senior Political Correspondent Glen McGregor, Online Politics Producer Rachel Aiello and Writer Michael Lee