Air travelers in BC are experiencing some turbulence with new rules for vaccine requirements

Air travelers at Vancouver’s YVR airport expressed few concerns when new travel and vaccination rules in Canada went into effect Saturday.

All travelers in Canada aged 12 and over must now be fully vaccinated before boarding any aircraft, train or cruise ship in this country.

Fully vaccinated travelers must also show evidence of a negative molecular COVID-19 test when returning to Canada.

Travelers arriving and departing from Vancouver International Airport said that their vaccine cards were mostly checked and that they did not have a problem with the new requirements.

See travelers at Vancouver’s YVR airports talk about their experiences with new travel vaccine requirements in Canada:

YVR travelers talk about their experiences with new COVID-19 vaccination requirements

From 30 October 2021, travelers in Canada aged 12 and over must be fully vaccinated before boarding aircraft, trains or cruise ships 0:54

At YVR, airport officials said travelers may experience delays at some Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) checkpoints, but otherwise the implementation of the new requirement went smoothly.

“The reality is that temperature screening has been in there for the last year and it’s been removed. So [vaccine status checks] basically takes its place, “said Robyn McVicker, vice president of passenger travel with the airport.

Residents of British Columbia can now access the federal government’s proof-of-vaccination record, which allows travel within Canada and internationally.

The provincial government says residents can now access the federal COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination card in the same way that 3.7 million people downloaded their cards for non-essential activities in the province.

However, the province says the federal government has indicated it will allow British Colombians to use the BC Vaccine Card to travel within the country until November 30, while national proof of vaccination is implemented.

If travelers have started the vaccination process but have not yet completed it, they can present proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test until 29 November. From 30 November, the unvaccinated will not be entitled to travel, with limited exceptions.

Travelers at Vancouver International Airport Saturday, October 30, 2021. (CBC News)

Bring copies

Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland says he expects most countries will accept the federal government’s documentation for vaccination, but that travelers should bring more copies.

“What you do not want is to be stranded in a third country, not because you have lost your passport, but because you do not have your vaccine information,” he said.

Kurland says he would like the federal government to commit to an end date for the requirement for proof of vaccination because it is the first time in Canadian history that so many Canadians allow their medical data to be available to Ottawa with little oversight.

“I really want to see a sunset clause,” Kurland said. “If it’s temporary, great. If it’s part of the Canadian community of the future … not good.”

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