New vaccine rules for travellers in Canada

Winnipeg Richardson International Airport

As of Oct. 30, you will need more than just a mask if you want to travel in Canada.

Wednesday, the federal government announced that passengers 12 and over who are eligible will need to be fully vaccinated when travelling by plane, train, or boat in Canada.

The new rules also apply to all airlines and airport staff, all employees of federally regulated railways, and marine operators with Canadian vessels.

The Winnipeg Airports Authority said it implemented a vaccine policy prior to the federal announcement, and all airport employees were already required to be fully vaccinated by the end of October.

Vice President of Communications and Government Relations, Tyler MacAfee said it wants people who are travelling with them to be safe.

“The trick now will be for the airlines to be able to validate that vaccination piece when you check in to get your boarding pass. So it won’t be a requirement right now to enter the airport, but to get on a plane it will be.”

MacAfee said air travel accounts for a very small percentage of the overall cases in Canada, but these new rules are one way the industry can do more to prevent the spread of the virus.

Train passengers and employees will also need to show proof of vaccination.

In a statement to CTV News, a spokesperson for Via Rail Canada said in part:

“Via Rail’s number one priority has always been the health and safety of its passengers and employees and the implementation of mandatory vaccination will contribute to ensuring that Via Rail’s trains and other facilities remain as safe as possible for everyone.”

The federal government said it’ll be up to each industry to establish processes to verify vaccine status.

It said there will be a short transition phase from now until November 30th where travellers have the option to show a negative COVID-19 test instead of proof of vaccination.