London International Airport hopeful national vaccine passport will help travel industry rebound

Click to play video: 'Federal government unveils standardized COVID-19 vaccine passport for international travel' Federal government unveils standardized COVID-19 vaccine passport for international travel
WATCH: The COVID-19 vaccine passport incorporates the QR code provided by provinces and territories. Marianne Dimain reports. – Oct 21, 2021

The federal government’s recent announcement around a national proof of COVID-19 vaccine system is a welcome step for those in the travel industry hoping to see the air travel industry rebound.

On Thursday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled plans for a national vaccine passport that Canadians can use from province to province, as well as for international travel.

Michael Seabrook, president and CEO of London International Airport, said the move will hopefully help to restore people’s confidence in air travel.

The key to rebounding, he said, comes down to more planes in the air, more passengers, and confidence in the safety of travel following the pandemic.

“Vaccination mandates required for travel are there to instil confidence in people that they can do so safely and get from point A to point B.”

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Read more: Trudeau unveils Canada’s international proof-of-vaccination for COVID-19

When looking at how the industry has rounded since the pandemic, Seabrook said it’s been slow, with some airports still down 20 to 35 per cent of what it used to be before COVID-19.

The Canadian government is still advising against non-essential travel but said those who do so should upload the certificate into the ArriveCan app for their return to the country.

Travellers are also warned that the new document does not guarantee entry into other countries, and said people should check with their destinations COVID-19 travel restrictions before departing.

Click to play video: 'How to deal with international travel barriers' How to deal with international travel barriers
How to deal with international travel barriers – Oct 21, 2021

“It will be a step, for the vast majority of people, at the virtual check-in where they simply have to scan their QR code, and they will get a boarding pass that is clearly marked upon it ‘vaccination approved’ So there is no actual slowdown,” Trudeau said.

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Those who download the provincial proof of vaccination document are all set if it has the federal seal of approval in the top right corner.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for federal workers by end of October, Trudeau announces

“We don’t want to overly complicate this whole vaccine process, so they are trying to be as straightforward and easy to process passengers from check-in to reaching designation,” Seabrook said.

Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that vaccines would be mandatory for anyone 12 and older travelling on a plane or train within Canada by Oct. 30.

“If you’ve done the right thing and gotten vaccinated, you deserve the freedom to be safe from COVID,” Trudeau said. “These travel measures, along with mandatory vaccination for federal employees, are some of the strongest in the world.”

Regarding travel, there will be a period during which people who are in the process of getting vaccinated can show a negative COVID-19 test, but that option will expire Nov. 30.

–With files from Global’s Rachel Gilmore and Aaron D’Andrea

Click to play video: 'Air travel bounces back with increased safety measures' Air travel bounces back with increased safety measures
Air travel bounces back with increased safety measures – Oct 4, 2021

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