Travelling through Toronto Pearson? Here's what you need to know

Dec 9 2021, 7:53 pm

As the holiday season approaches, many travellers will arrive at Toronto Pearson, whether to visit family and loved ones or take a long overdue vacation.

With much of the world upended by the latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, travelling has gotten a bit trickier in recent weeks. So, if you’ve got a trip booked, here’s what you should know before you head to Toronto Pearson:

Vaccine Passport

Beginning November 30, all travellers aged 12 and older on federally regulated forms of transportation must be fully vaccinated. This applies to all flights out of Toronto Pearson. It’s up to the airlines to check for vaccine passports.

In most cases, travellers can upload their proof of vaccination prior to arriving at the airport. This can be done when checking in for the flight. Travellers can also present their vaccine certificate in-person if they opt to check-in at the desk. If they choose this option, they’ll have to check-in with an agent and not at one of the airline’s check-in machines.

Haven’t downloaded the vaccine passport yet? Don’t worry, just click here to get started. While many people have opted to save their vaccine certificate in their smart phone’s wallet, it’s best to bring a physical copy. This could save travellers some trouble if their device battery dies. It could also come in handy if their destination doesn’t have compatible scanners.

 

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Check your destination’s COVID-19 restrictions

COVID-19 restrictions, case counts and quarantine rules vary by country. It’s important that travellers be aware of their destination’s COVID-19 situation and restrictions. The Government of Canada also lists travel advisories. Travellers can check here to see how their destination is listed and what precautions they may need to take.

Canadians travelling to the US will need to provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken no earlier than 24-hours before departure.

 

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Pre-entry COVID-19 tests

International travellers flying to Toronto Pearson will need a pre-entry COVID-19 test. Getting the wrong test could cost a pretty penny and land travellers in a quarantine hotel. When entering Canada, travellers must present a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken within the last 72 hours.

Accepted tests are:

  • PCR – Polymerase chain reaction
  • Nucleic acid test (NAT) or Nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs)
  • Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)

 

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Prepare to isolate upon return

With new travel testing rules ramping up across the country, more and more travellers are being tested and told to isolate until they receive their results. Last week, the federal government told all travellers entering Canada that they should be prepared to isolate.

Travellers returning from the US are not subject to the new travel testing rules, but they could still be chosen for random testing. If so, they will also have to isolate pending results.

Passengers who are connecting through Toronto Pearson will be tested at YYZ before moving on to their next destination. They will not have to wait for their results before boarding their connecting flight.

It is important for all travellers to have a quarantine plan in place in the event they are told to isolate by border agents.

 

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ArriveCAN app

Travellers must download the ArriveCAN app. The app allows travellers to enter all the necessary information required to enter Canada. This includes COVID-19 testing results, and other mandatory information required for entry.

This week, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, Marco Mendicino provided an update for those who can’t access the ArriveCAN app. While still mandatory, travellers who don’t have the ArriveCAN app can provide their information to border agents. If travellers don’t have the required information they will be told to quarantine, and they could be fined. Travellers can submit their information to ArriveCAN within 72 hours or travel to Canada.

 

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Toronto Pearson rules

Passengers travelling through Toronto Pearson must wear a mask. Including pre- and post-security screening areas. Children under two, people who are unable to remove a mask on their own or otherwise have a medical exemption do not have to wear a mask. Passengers dining at one of the airport’s food and beverage locations are allowed to remove their mask.

If travellers have someone waiting for them upon their arrival, their welcoming party won’t be able to meet them in the terminal, meeters and greeters are not allowed to enter the terminals.

 

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Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

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