Government of Canada provides further details on new vaccine requirements

Press Release

From: Transport Canada

October 29, 2021                       Ottawa                Transport Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to keeping our transportation sector, including employees and travellers safe and secure. Vaccinations are the best line of defense against COVID-19 and its variants. That is why employees and travellers in the federally regulated air and rail sectors will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Requirements effective October 30

As the Government of Canada announced on August 13, travellers in the federally regulated air and rail sectors will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19. After extensive consultations, Transport Canada issued the final orders and guidance to airlines and railways to implement the vaccination requirements for travellers which are effective at 3 AM (EDT) October 30, 2021. The vaccination requirements will apply to all travellers 12 years of age plus four months who are:

  • Air passengers flying on domestic, transborder, or international flights departing from certain airports in Canada; and
  • Rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.

Travellers will need to show airlines and railways proof of vaccination. For a short transition period until November 29, 2021, travellers have the option to show proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test in order to board. Airlines and railways will be responsible for confirming the vaccination status of travellers. In the aviation mode, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) will also support operators by confirming vaccination status.

There will very few exceptions for emergencies and special accommodations for designated remote communities so residents can continue to access essential services.

Requirements effective November 30

As of November 30, a negative COVID-19 molecular test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination. If travellers have not already started the vaccination process, or do not start very soon, they will not be eligible to travel starting November 30. There will be only very limited exemptions. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks.

In addition, there will be transitional measures for unvaccinated foreign nationals who normally reside outside of Canada and who entered Canada prior to October 30. Until February 28, they will be able to take a flight for the purpose of departing Canada if they show proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test at the time of travel.

The Government of Canada will continue to engage with key stakeholders, employers, airlines and railways, bargaining agents, Indigenous Peoples, local authorities, and provinces and territories to support the implementation of the vaccination requirement.

Quotes

“Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce the further spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Requiring travellers and employees to be vaccinated, ensures that everyone who travels and works in the transportation industry will protect each other and keep Canadians safe.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“These travel requirements, vaccinations and other public health measures will help keep Canadians safe from COVID-19. I encourage everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to book an appointment today; you are not only protecting yourself, but your loved ones and everyone around you.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Transport Canada, working with Indigenous Services Canada, Health Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, has engaged provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, and local authorities on specific support and accommodation to enable travel into and out of remote communities. Transport Canada issued the final regulatory requirements and guidance for employers in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine sectors to establish their own internal mandatory vaccination policies by October 30, 2021.
  • Transport Canada continues to work with the cruise ship industry, and other domestic and international partners, to permit the safe re-opening of Canada to cruise ship travel in spring 2022, including the specific vaccination requirements for cruise ship passengers, and other health protocols.
  • There will be a short transition period during which travellers not fully vaccinated will be able to travel if they can show a negative COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel. A positive COVID-19 molecular test will also be accepted if at least 14 days, but no more than 180 days, have elapsed since the test was conducted and the traveller is symptom free. This transition period will end on November 29, 2021. Starting on November 30, travellers must be fully vaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated travellers who test positive for COVID-19 during their travel will not be able to travel onwards, or return to their point of departure, until they have completed 14 days of isolation. The traveller is responsible for their own isolation costs (accommodation and meals) except for very limited exceptions. Unvaccinated travellers should have a plan in advance of their travel in case they test positive during their journey.
  • Travellers can use a proof of vaccination credential issued by their province or territory local health facility where their vaccinations have been recorded, or from their country of vaccination, as long as it is a Government of Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Travellers are strongly encouraged to use the new standardized Canadian proof of vaccination, but can also continue to use their provincial proof of vaccination if their province is not yet issuing the standardized proof of vaccination certification, or documentation provided from their local health care facility with the necessary vaccination information. To learn more about the Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination and how to get it, visit Canada.ca/vaccine-proof.
  • With respect to provincial or territorial requirements, travellers may be subject to further measures taken by provinces or territories in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is the traveller’s responsibility to be familiar with potential restrictions regarding their final destination.
  • Entry requirements to Canada have not changed. Before heading to the border, travellers should get informed and understand their obligations by ensuring their eligibility to enter Canada and following the Entering Canada requirements checklists.

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Contacts

Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
613-290-8656
Allison.St-Jean@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

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