Date: February 5, 2021
- Transport Canada has taken concrete actions in all modes to protect Canadians, passengers and essential transportation workers and to support the flow of critical goods and services during this unprecedented global crisis.
- On 29 January 2021, the Government of Canada announced new accommodation and quarantine measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada.
- To ensure the uninterrupted delivery of essential goods, Canada has designated transportation workers such as truck drivers, airline pilots and crew, seafarers and railroad engineers as essential workers, exempting them from certain COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.
- Ensuring a healthy and safe transportation sector is essential as we continue to implement measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission, and as we look ahead toward safely reopening borders. Transportation will play a vital role in supporting the country’s economic recovery.
- The Government understands the significant economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having throughout the transportation system, especially on the air sector. In response, the Government has implemented a number of economic support measures to help air industry stakeholders manage their financial challenges.
- TC continues to work the Public Health Agency of Canada, other levels of government, transportation industry stakeholders, Indigenous peoples, and Arctic communities to determine the best measures that will help ensure the health and safety of Canadians and Canada’s transportation system.
- Transport Canada (TC), with key federal, provincial, territorial partners, and in consultation with industry and unions, developed guidance documents and tools to help limit the spread and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in the transportation sector while keeping transportation gateways open.
- TC has implemented a series of Interim Orders and issued a number of certificates in all modes to combat the spread of COVID-19. These measures were taken in conjunction with the Orders-in-Council issued by Health Canada. TC will be able to rescind these Interim Orders should the health situation improve significantly and allow for a safe resumption of unrestricted travel activities.
- As of February 4, 2021, TC requires international passenger arrivals to be funneled into four Canadian airports: Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport. This includes flights arriving from the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, which were exempted from the previous restriction. Flights from St. Pierre-et-Miquelon remain exempt.
- In the coming weeks, with very limited exceptions, all air travellers entering Canada will be required to: reserve a room in a PHAC-accredited hotel for three nights at their own cost and take a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival. Once a negative test is received, travellers may complete the 14-day self-isolation at home. If a positive result is received, travellers must continue the quarantine at an approved facility.
- TC is supporting CBSA and PHAC in the implementation of new land border measures to reduce the risk of importation and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants of the virus related to international travel.
- On February 4, 2021, TC announced a new set of measures that will come into effect on March 1, 2021 which will prohibit adventure-seeking pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022.
- Within Canada, both government and industry have begun testing pilots at major airports and land border crossings to collect evidence in support of re-opening the border in a way that protects the public from the virus.
- The pandemic is having a significant impact on remote communities that depend on small air carriers for essential goods, services, and access in and out of the community. The Government of Canada is working with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners and the air industry to address the unique needs of these communities. Joint funding initiatives have been announced regularly since the beginning of the pandemic.
- The Government of Canada has put in place a number of financial support measures, such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Business Credit Availability Program, the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program and the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility, to assist all sectors of the economy, including air transportation. They are also providing sector specific supports including rent relief to airport authorities and funding to ensure continued operation of essential bridges impacted by border closures.
- Through the Fall Economic Statement, the Government announced an additional $1.1B in financial support for the air sector through a series of targeted measures designed to support regional connectivity, critical infrastructure investments and the continued operation of Canada’s airports.
- The Government is also engaging with Canada’s major air carriers regarding potential options for financial assistance. As part of this process, the Government will ensure Canadians are refunded for flights cancelled due to COVID-19.
- TC is working to strengthen its evidence-based framework to better support policy decisions in the context of COVID-19 related disruptions moving forward. Examples of TC initiatives include; using timely economic and transportation data, estimating probable recovery scenarios to forecast the movement of passengers and freight and working on impact assessments of the pandemic on the transportation sector.