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Government of Canada provides further details on new vaccine requirements

[CANADA NEWS RELEASE]

News release

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.

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