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441-00346 (Health)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

Whereas:

  • The Government of Canada is requiring all domestic travelers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19;
  • Travelers who test negative and wear a mask while traveling are extremely unlikely to transmit the virus;
  • An estimated 0.5% of COVID-19 cases in Canada occurred through travel exposure, and that was prior to the imposition of a testing requirement for travelers;
  • Mobility rights are protected in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and can only be limited when those limitations are demonstrably justified; and
  • There are other mechanisms such as regular rapid testing and tracing that can be an alternative to those who do not choose to be vaccinated.

We, the undersigned, citizens and permanent residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

1. Allow any Canadian who has tested negative for COVID-19 and is prepared to wear a mask to travel by air, sea, or rail; and

2. Ensure that rapid testing is affordable and accessible in order to ensure the effective protection of public health.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Adam van Koeverden

The Government’s priority remains the health and safety of Canadians. Decisions regarding border measures are informed by available data, operational considerations, scientific evidence and monitoring of the epidemiological situation both in Canada and internationally.

As of April 1, 2022, fully vaccinated travellers arriving at land, air or marine ports of entry are no longer required to complete a pre-entry test for entry to Canada. They remain subject to mandatory randomized testing on arrival to Canada.

As of April 25, 2022, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated children between the ages of 5 and 11 are no longer required to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test for entry to Canada if they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian, but will be subject to mandatory randomized testing on arrival to Canada.

Unless otherwise exempt (such as unvaccinated/ partially vaccinated children aged 5-11 who are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult), travelers 5 years of age or older who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated must continue to test on arrival and on day 8, provide a quarantine plan, quarantine for 14 days, and provide proof of an accepted type of pre-entry COVID-19 test result:

  • a valid negative antigen test, administered or observed by an accredited lab or testing provider, taken outside of Canada the day before or the day of the initially scheduled flight departure time or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry;
  • a valid negative molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before their initially scheduled flight departure  or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry; or,
  • a previous positive molecular test taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before their initially scheduled flight departure time or arrival at the land border or marine port of entry. It is important to note that positive antigen test results will not be accepted.

Children who are less than 5 years old are not required to test, regardless of their vaccination status. Unvaccinated foreign nationals are not permitted to enter Canada unless they meet one of a few exemptions.

As of April 25, 2022, fully vaccinated travellers, children between the ages of 5 and 11 (who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult), and those with a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination are no longer required to provide quarantine plans when travelling into Canada. Additionally for 14 days after arriving in Canada, fully vaccinated travellers are no longer required to:

  • monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms;
  • mask while in public spaces;
  • quarantine if another traveller in the same travel group exhibits signs or symptoms or tests positive; and,
  • maintain a list of close contacts and locations. 

As COVID-19 continues to be present in Canada and internationally, the COVID-19 situation can change rapidly and can vary considerably from one destination to another, and even within regions of a country. The Public Health Agency of Canada advises travellers to continue to practice individual health precautions when travelling internationally. Travellers must continue to wear a mask during their trip (on board a flight or ship) and will be advised by government officials at the border when the mask may be removed. Travellers should understand the risks that are associated with international travel and take the necessary preventative measures; they are encouraged to continuously check travel advisories, COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements and confirm medical coverage with their travel insurance as well as other entry requirements for international travel.

Travelling is not advised if someone:

  • is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild;
  • is under quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19;
  • has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 10 days;
  • is awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test; or,
  • has been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19.

The Government of Canada is committed to reducing the prevalence of COVID-19 infections and limiting the impact of the disease on our health care system and economy. Through the Safe Restart Agreement, the Government of Canada has provided $4.28 billion to support provinces and territories with the costs of increasing their capacity to conduct testing, perform contact tracing, and share public health data that will help fight COVID-19. Furthermore, $1.7B was provided, in the Fall Economic Statement, to continue supporting provinces and territories in securing rapid testing supplies, including through expanded school and workplace testing programs. This funding also supported the procurement of additional rapid test kits for distribution to Canadians. Additionally, the ratification of Bill C-10 in February 2022 was instrumental to provide up to $2.5 billion to the Government of Canada to procure and purchase rapid tests to continue to support provinces and territories throughout the year and ensure tests remain accessible to Canadians.

Since the start of the pandemic, as of April 14, 2022, the Federal Government has purchased and distributed to provinces and territories over 450.8M rapid tests to support testing programs across the country, including key sectors such as health care, long-term care homes, and schools. Throughout the pandemic, the Federal Government has been closely collaborating with provinces and territories to ensure widespread availability of rapid antigen tests in keeping with their different approaches for testing, screening and surveillance based on their individual circumstances and needs.

The Government of Canada has facilitated widespread screening in workplaces across the country by distributing free rapid tests to small and medium sized organizations through pharmacies, directly to businesses with more than 200 employees, and to not-for-profit organizations via the Canadian Red Cross. With tests provided by the Federal Government, provinces and territories have also contributed to workplace screening efforts by enabling conditions for test administration, distributing tests directly to workplaces, and the establishing partnerships with local chambers of commerce to ensure equitable access to free tests.

The Government of Canada has also helped ensure that vulnerable Canadians can access rapid tests through supporting the Canadian Red Cross initiative for community partners to distribute tests to their clients, and the North West Company and Arctic Co-ops to distribute tests to their customers in Nunavut and Northwest Territories. Northern, Remote and Isolated communities also receive rapid tests directly from the Federal Government.

Presented to the House of Commons
Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan)
April 4, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00346)
Government response tabled
May 18, 2022
Photo - Garnett Genuis
Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan
Conservative Caucus
Alberta

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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