Canada, at last, ends vaccine mandate for American travelers

Vaccine status should not affect the movement of people and goods between Michigan and a major trading partner

Our long international nightmare is over. Canada, America’s neighbor to the north and Michigan’s strongest international trading partner, will end its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for over-the-border travelers, starting Oct. 1.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

Travelers heading to Canada will have an easier time entering the country as it drops its COVID entry requirements starting Saturday.

Travelers will no longer have to show proof of vaccination, take a test before or on arrival or follow quarantine rules, the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a news release Monday. Canada will also no longer require the use of ArriveCAN, which travelers can use to submit information like vaccination proof and travel details, among other changes.

Canada’s policy change represents another reversal of fortune for makers and distributors of the vaccine, which public officials once touted as all-powerful. In response to a trucker protest against Canada’s vaccine mandate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, allowing the government to seize the bank accounts of protesters and people supporting protesters materially. Trudeau used his bully pulpit to say that people who refused the jab were anti-vaxxers, and he called for them to be excluded from society.

As of Saturday, those same people will be welcomed across the border.

Why the extreme reversal? If someone believed COVID-19 to pose a grave threat to human well-being, and believed that the vaccine was the best tool, a mandate makes sense. It can be disagreed with, but there’s a logic to it.

But how do you go from that to this?

It gets better. Not only is there no vaccine mandate, there is no requirement to furnish a recent negative test, or to quarantine if the traveler tests positive once crossing the border. An American crossing the Detroit-Windsor tunnel to Canada on Saturday can travel like it’s 2019.

Michigan recently stopped breaking out COVID data by vaccine status. Taken together, these actions indicate governments are backing away from the vaccine they pushed non-stop, both from the podium and on the airwaves, at great expense to taxpayers.

This is good news. The end of coercive regimes should be celebrated.

But before we break out the candles and cake, we should ask: Why? What changed?

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.