“As was the case pre-pandemic, certificates of vaccination are a part of international travel to certain regions and are naturally to be expected when it comes to this pandemic and the coronavirus,” Trudeau said on Tuesday.
“How we actually roll that out in alignment with partners and allies around the world is something that we’re working on right now to coordinate.”
Canada closed its U.S. land and sea borders to tourists over one year ago in an effort to curb cases of the virus.
But in recent weeks, provinces have called for tightened restrictions and measures when it comes to international travel to quell the spread of more deadly and transmissible variants spreading across the country.
Trudeau offered some push back to those requests during an interview with Global News on April 21, saying that community spread — rather than international travel — continues to be the country’s main concern.
“We are looking at a range of potential measures either targeting certain areas of types of travellers. We are going to be working with experts and authorities across the country to ensure what we are doing is grounded in science and will keep people safe,” he said.
In the U.S. and European Union, restrictions are gradually loosening as their vaccination campaigns pick up speed.
EU officials said Monday they may start letting Americans back into their countries as early as this summer, depending on the course of the outbreak during that time.
While concept of vaccine or “immunity” passports are quickly gaining popularity in the EU, it was not immediately clear whether all U.S. tourists would need proof of vaccination for entry, or whether a negative test or proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 would be acceptable instead.
On Sunday, bloc commission president Ursula von der Leyen said one thing is clear: “All 27 member states will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by EMA.”
However, Trudeau said, “we’re not yet at this point.”
“Right now we’re focused on getting through this pandemic and being prepared to come roaring back once we’re through it,” he said. Speaking in French, Trudeau added that “we still have a lot to do to get through this third wave.”
Federal health officials say Canada is still on track to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot with a first dose by June, but the country’s rollout has been slow to start and mired in vaccine shipment delays.
Last month, Procurement Minister Anita Anand told reporters Canada can expect to receive between 48 and 50 million vaccine doses by the end of June. But Trudeau says he’s still counting on the U.S. to share some of its extra AstraZeneca vaccine with Canada.
“We know that we have capacity to deliver vaccines immediately into more arms as we can get more vaccine doses into Canada,” Trudeau said on Tuesday.
“So we are continuing to work every single day to try and get those doses into Canada to increase our capacity for vaccination.”
— with files from the Associated Press