COVID-19 ArriveCan travel rules could change soon: 'We're in a different era,' top epidemiologist Isaac Bogoch says
Canada’s controversial and mandatory ArriveCan app, along with COVID-19 vaccine requirements at the border are set to be dropped by the end of the month, according to several reports.
According to a report in The Globe and Mail, the new protocol will go into effect as of Sept. 30., though the decision has not yet been finalized.
That would mean that those travelling into Canada by air, sea port or land would have the option to use the app, though those who chose not to would not be subjected to a fine.
In terms of dropping vaccine requirements to enter into the country, Canada would be following the lead of many European countries, which have dropped such entry restrictions earlier this year.
Mask requirements for travel on trains and planes are said to be remaining in place, according to sources who spoke to the Globe.
The ArriveCan app required those travelling into Canada from abroad to submit information about pre-entry test results, contact and travel details, as well as test, travel and quarantine plans prior to entry. Those who failed to do so were subjected to a $5,000 fine.
Toronto-based epidemiologist Isaac Bogoch says it’s time for these amendments to be implemented since the virus has changed and the pandemic has unfolded. As a result, policy needs to be updated.
“It’s reasonable to update this policy and some will say the writing was on the wall and this could have been done several months ago,” he tells Yahoo News Canada.
He adds that ArriveCan has proven to be cumbersome for those who don’t speak French or English, or aren’t technologically savvy, and those challenges pose a barrier.
When it comes to whether dropping the vaccine requirements at the border will have any meaningful impact on COVID-19 in Canadian settings, Bogoch says no.
“Even when we had hotel quarantine and had our borders shut down, we still had people bringing COVID into Canada,” he says.
We’re in a different era…there’s still going to be waves and COVID and it’s still going to disproportionately impact vulnerable and elderly communities.. But changing this policy won't have any meaningful change to that.Isaac Bogoch, Epidemiologist
Online, many were happy with the news.
#ArriveCAN is gonna be scrapped, and I'm super happy. Going on vacation in January, was not looking forward to filling that out.
— Nyord🌹 (@TheNyord) September 21, 2022
I found the Arrivecan app tedious and ultimately pointless. It's not just the "freedom rally" people who didn't enjoy it.
— Karen Robson (@klrobson) September 21, 2022
The defence of ArriveCAN in a 🧵until the science changes on September 30th and not a moment sooner.
The damage done to our economy and reputation will remain and it didn’t ever have to happen.
— Melissa Lantsman (@MelissaLantsman) September 21, 2022
With how smooth airports have been running, they're planning to replace the ArriveCan app with the ArriveCant app.
— Ryder (@ryderfm) September 21, 2022
Yes I have used the ArriveCan app. Not that its difficult and optional use is good. Mandatory use....not good IMO for those who may not want to pay out of country data plan, don't want to use an unsecured flakey free wifi service or simply don't want to use/own a smart phone :)
— Advocacy Warrior🇨🇦🇺🇦🇨🇦 (@AdvocacyWarrior) September 21, 2022
Others felt having the option to use ArriveCan was helpful.
The concept of using ArriveCAN moving forward makes sense to me to speed things up as long as there is the option to not use it.
— David Brown (@OrbitStudios) September 21, 2022
Any semi-literate person can use the ArriveCan app
Give it a rest already!
— Stephen J. Slack (@aimclick2create) September 21, 2022
I love that ArriveCAN remaining optional makes it an excellent travel hack for people who don't believe in conspiracy theories. Too bad the pandemic can't provide you with fertilizer for your rage farm forever. Find something new to complain about.
— Kate Pawson Studer (@KatPaws) September 21, 2022
I used ArriveCAN two weeks ago. It definitely streamlined the customs and immigration checks into one procedure. Glad it’s still an option. Anyone wanting to go the paper route can wait longer in lines, if they so wish.
— SylvieIsLostAndFoundInCanada💉💉💉 (@CdnImm) September 21, 2022
The hysteria around ArriveCAN is one of the strangest things since 2020 and that’s saying something.
We had paper forms before it, everyone seems to have forgotten!
All goes into the same computers.
— Geoff Hall 🇺🇦 (@gjhall) September 21, 2022
Vaccine requirements were suspended in June for those travelling within Canada as well as though travelling outside of the country.