Travellers hoping to board a plane, as well as some trains and marine vessels in Canada, have just over one month left to be fully vaccinated or face a hefty fine.
As of October 30, travellers aged 12 and up must be immunized against COVID-19 in order to board an airplane, VIA Rail or Rocky Mountaineer train, or cruise ship in Canada.
There will be a “transition period” until November 30, during which time unvaccinated people can present a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of travel.
Those who falsify information or do not comply with the vaccine mandate will face “serious consequences,” the federal government said.
Individual air travellers and employees of the sector can be fined up to $5,000 per violation, while operators can be fined up to $25,000.
In the marine sector, the mandate only applies to non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages lasting over 24 hours.
Marine travellers can be fined up to $250,000 per violation per day. The same hefty penalty applies to the sector’s employees and operators.
Railway companies that fail to comply can be fined up to $250,000 per violation per day. The federal government has not specified what penalties individual rail travellers will face.
There will be “very limited exceptions” to the vaccine mandate, such as specific situations regarding emergency travel and individuals who are unable to be immunized.
Transport Canada will enforce the vaccine mandate, including doling out fines and will have an oversight system in place for each mode of transportation.
- You might also like:
- Everything you need to know about Canada's COVID-19 vaccine passport for travel
- Here's what you need to know about travelling to the US by plane
- Here's how to add your COVID-19 vaccine passport to Apple Wallet
A standardized, Canada-wide vaccine passport system is in development and has already been made available in several provinces, including Ontario, BC, and Alberta.
The system is a “reliable way” to show proof of immunization when travelling both domestically and internationally.
“The Government of Canada is committed to keeping the transportation sector, including employees and travellers, safe and secure,” a release from the federal government reads.
“Mandatory vaccination for the federally regulated air, rail, and marine sectors help limit the risk of spreading COVID-19 and helps prevent against future outbreaks.”