Unvaccinated travellers over the age of 12 won’t be able to board a plane or train in Canada, starting November 30.
According to the federal government’s updated guidelines, this applies to domestic and international flights departing from most airports in Canada. A negative COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative for most people.
“If you indicate to your airline or railway company that you’re eligible to board, but fail to provide proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 test result, you won’t be allowed to travel and could face penalties or fines,” government officials stated on their travel guidelines page.
Air Canada, West Jet, Via Rail, and Rocky Mountaineer have put the policy into action.
Effective today, vaccination will be required for travellers who wish to board a plane or train in Canada, with limited exceptions. A valid #COVID19 molecular test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination. Learn more: https://t.co/jKxw6HJYJk pic.twitter.com/gHmkPFET3q
— Transport Canada (@Transport_gc) November 30, 2021
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This news comes after Canada introduced new border restrictions on November 26 in light of the discovery of Omicron, a new variant of concern.
Other existing public health measures like mandatory masks and screenings remain in place.
The update says exemptions include travel from remote communities, travel for essential medical services and treatment, and if Canada is not your final destination and just a stopover during your travel. In these cases, a negative COVID-19 test will suffice.
Although the policy was implemented on October 30, the government allowed a short transition period to give people time to get vaccinated. Travellers were allowed to board trains and planes if they showed a valid COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative to providing proof of full vaccination.