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The GLOBAL REPORT – travelling and mandates, border checks and passports

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Travel restrictions

The federal government is set to announce, later today, changes in COVID-19 measures involving travel.

Several media reports say Ottawa will no longer require proof of vaccination for travel on domestic flights, inter-provincial trains, and for outbound international travellers.

The restriction was announced last October 30th as a way to slow the spread of the virus.

But the Trudeau government has been coming under increasing pressure to ease the restrictions, which have caused massive lineups at major airports such as Toronto and Vancouver.

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Getting a passport

Federal officials admit they still don’t know when they’ll be able to catch up with the backlog of passport applications.

But if you’re in need of a new one, there may be some hope in sight.

The processing time for applications handed in, in person, averages about ten business days.

But the problem has been the massive lineups outside the passport offices.

The passport office’s website now contains estimated wait times for its locations across Canada and they’ll be updated three times a day, so you can pick and choose where, and when, to go.

Border checks

Senators have voted to change a controversial provision in the Trudeau government’s border security law.

The legislation would have allowed border officers to check cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices if they had a “reasonable general concern” about the material on the device.

But the Senate’s National Security and Defence committee has approved changing the provision to “reasonable grounds to suspect.”

That’s the lowest legal threshold available but still greater protection than the earlier proposal.

The bill goes back to the full Senate for a vote.

If it’s approved, it’ll be sent to the Commons.

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