ArriveCAN About to Become Optional
A senior government source has stated that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has signed off on a decision to end pandemic border measures and to make the use of the ArriveCAN app optional rather than mandatory. An official announcement is expected Monday, according to the source.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The government launched the contentious app back in April 2020 with the stated purpose of using it as a communication and screening tool to ensure travellers arriving in Canada complied with pandemic border measures.
Travellers would upload their contact information, travel information and a quarantine plan. The app wouldn't be made mandatory until November 2020.
A new version of ArriveCAN launched in July 2021, when Canada began easing public health restrictions on people coming into Canada. Fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents crossing the border were no longer required to quarantine upon their return — but they were required to upload their vaccination documentation in the app.
Those unable to use the application on their phones would have to use the website version. When travellers finished inputting their information, they were emailed receipts to show to Canadian border officers upon arrival.
The app also would tell travellers if they had been tapped for mandatory arrival testing or would be required to quarantine.
The government said it has spent over $17 million on the ArriveCAN app. Just over $12 million of that amount was spent to develop the app, while a little under $5 million was spent to maintain and update it.