Guidance for Air Carriers in managing travellers departing from a Canadian aerodrome

This guidance material is intended to provide recommendations and guidance on the operationalization of Transport Canada’s Interim Order, Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation due to COVID-19, No 50.

Important Caveat: Nothing in this guidance document supersedes any requirement or obligation outlined in Transport Canada’s Interim Order. It is meant to complement these legal documents and provide recommendations and guidance on how to understand and carry out the requirements.

On this page

Overview

This guidance material dated December 21, 2021, replaces the November 30, 2021 version. This version includes the following updates:

  1. clarifications on onward travel;
  2. updates to the pre-board/in-flight announcements to encourage travellers departing Canada to pre-register for an on-arrival test for their return to Canada;
  3. the exemption section has been updated to remove those that expired since the last iteration; and
  4. this version now combines information contained within the following documents:
    • Federal Vaccination Mandate – Guidance for Air Operators in Managing Travellers Departing from a Canadian Airport (all domestic requirements related to the federal vaccination mandate; and
    • Guidance for Air Operators in Managing Travellers Departing from a Canadian Airport (which included all requirements related to COVID aside from the federal vaccination mandate).

This document now encompasses all domestic requirements.

Section 1 – General

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to air carriers regarding the implementation of the requirements under the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 50 (the Interim Order), including those introduced as part of the Federal Vaccination Mandate, as it pertains to the management of air travellers. All travellers boarding a flight in Canada must now be vaccinated unless they meet a limited exception. Advice, guidance, and sample templates are included to support air carriers in the implementation of this part of the Federal Vaccination Mandate as applicable. The information in this document concerns travellers departing Canadian airport (domestic, transborder or international flight).

Section 2 – Obligations of air carriers

The following outlines the requirements pertaining to the management of domestic or outbound travellers from a Canadian aerodrome:

Air Carrier Notification Requirement: Air carriers are required to notify travellers departing a Canadian aerodrome that they:

  • (1) must provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination or approved exception document upon request. Please refer to Annex A, which provides a sample of a notification email that can be sent to travellers to inform them of the vaccination mandate.
  • (2) must submit a request to be considered for an exception to the requirement to be vaccinated (if applicable) within the specified timeframe;
  • (3) must be in possession of a mask, even if fully vaccinated (see Annex B for a description of an acceptable mask);
  • (4) cannot board an aircraft:
    • if they are exhibiting: (1) a fever and cough; or (2) a fever and breathing difficulties, and do not have a medical certificate certifying these symptoms are not related to COVID-19;
    • if they have, or have any reason to suspect they have, COVID-19;
    • if they have been denied boarding on an aircraft in the previous 14 days for medical reasons related to COVID-19; or
    • if they are subject to a mandatory quarantine order as a result of recent travel or because of a local or provincial health order that prohibits them from travelling.
  • (5) They may be subject to a measure taken by the federal, provincial, or territorial government at the destination airport for that flight in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A summary of the provincial/territorial restrictions and Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial COVID-19 resources can be found in Annex C.
  • Note: In situations where a traveller is under a mandatory quarantine order, they may still be permitted to travel based on the specific provisions of the order, providing they are symptom-free and pass the health check. For further information on the federally mandated quarantine provisions, please refer to the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) Emergency Order.
  • (6) may be liable to a monetary penalty if they knowingly provide false or misleading information and may be subject to a monetary penalty of up to $5,000.

Transport Canada recommends notifying travellers of the above-noted requirements during the online or in-person check-in process (see Annex D1 and Annex D2 for pre-board messages, and Annex D3 for an example of an in-flight announcement for Canadian Domestic Flights).

Traveller Confirmation to Air Carrier: travellers must confirm that:

  • They: (1) do not have or suspect they have COVID-19; (2) have not been denied boarding in the previous 14 days by an air operator due to a medical reason related to COVID-19; and (3) are not subject to a mandatory quarantine order as a result of recent travel or from a local or provincial health order that does not permit them to travel.
  • They are in possession of a mask (or have a medical certificate stating a reason why they cannot wear a mask) and must wear the mask even if fully vaccinated.
  • They understand that they may be subject to a provincial, territorial, or federal government measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when travelling to and within Canada.

Air carriers must implement a process for approving/denying exceptions:

Air carriers are required to have a process in place to assess, approve or deny exception requests (requirement to be fully vaccinated to travel by air) from travellers and to notify them if their application has been approved or denied for the following circumstances:

  • Medical inability to be vaccinated;
  • Sincerely held religious belief; or
  • Essential medical services and treatment.

Air carriers must keep a record of the number of requests for exceptions received, and the number of approvals/denials that were issued. The records must be kept for 12 months and made available to the Minister of Transport upon request. A copy of the request made by the traveller must also be kept for 90 days and made available to the Minister upon request. For more details on reporting requirements, please refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY BULLETIN – INTERIM ORDER RESPECTING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR CIVIL AVIATION DUE TO COVID-19 (SSCIMS).

Boarding Process - Requirements for AIR CARRIERS:

In addition to ensuring that all travellers have a mask in their possession and are free of any visible symptoms of COVID-19, air carriers also must verify proof documents to ensure all travellers are either fully vaccinated (by the Canadian definition) or have an approved exception.

It should be noted that there are exceptions that are required to be pre-approved by the air carrier, these include: those travelling who are medically unable to be vaccinated, those with sincerely held religious beliefs and those who must obtain essential services or attend a medical appointment. Other exceptions that are in place but are not required to be pre-approved by the air carrier include but are not limited to: those travelling at the request of the Minister of Health, those who have a temporary resident visa, and those coming for diplomatic affairs.

Below are examples of possible scenarios for travellers with proof of vaccinations and exceptions.

Scenario #1 - Verification - Elements for the proof of vaccination

Air carriers are required to verify the following elements, for all travellers 12 years of age + 4 months and older:

  • Full name (family name and given name(s)) of the person who received the vaccine;
  • The name of the government / non-government entity who issued the proof document;
  • The manufacturer of the vaccine and number of doses (refer to: COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada - Travel restrictions in Canada – Travel.gc.ca for information on the accepted vaccines/regimens).
  • The date the traveller received their last dose. This date must be at least 14 full days prior to their date of travel. For example, if the last dose was administered on Thursday July 1, then Friday July 16 would be the first day that the traveller would meet the 14-day condition).

Note: the proof of vaccination can be presented in paper or digital copies, and must have been issued in English or French otherwise a certified translation is required.

Federal Proof of Identification and Provincial Proof of Vaccination

There may be circumstances in which the name on the proof of identification does not match the name on the provincial or territorial proof of vaccination. For example, in the province of Quebec a female’s name at birth may appear on the proof of vaccination, while their married name may appear on a federal identification document such as a passport. Other examples include those from remote or Indigenous communities where formal identification can be more challenging to obtain. Please note that the air carrier, in these cases, has flexibility to accept a proof of vaccination that does not perfectly match a traveller’s identification documents, as long as the traveller is able to establish their vaccination credential through other means (e.g., health card or letter from Indigenous community leader).

Scenario #2 – Verification of exception documentation + COVID-19 molecular test

Under this scenario, a traveller will present the exception documentation for either a medical contraindication, religious belief or for essential service/medical appointment (including escorts) issued by the air carrier indicating approval of the exception.

The traveller must also present a valid COVID-19 molecular test result, which includes the following criteria:

The following elements must be included in the COVID-19 molecular test result for travellers 12 years of age plus 4 months and older:

  • If the test result is negative, it must be dated within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure time at a specified Canadian aerodrome;
  • If the test result is positive, it must be dated at least 14 days before but not more than 180 days prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure at a specified Canadian aerodrome (e.g., the traveller would be eligible to travel on day 15 after their test was administered, since 14 days have passed).

Air carriers would need to verify that the traveller has a valid COVID-19 molecular test result. A COVID-19 molecular test is defined within Transport Canada’s Interim Order as a COVID-19 screening or diagnostic test carried out by an accredited laboratory, including a test carried out by the method of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP). For a list of tests that are considered molecular tests, please consult the “Accepted Types of Tests” section that can be found on the following webpage: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/flying/covid-19-testing-travellers-coming-into-canada.

Scenario #3 – Other exceptions (not approved by the air carrier)

In some cases, the traveller will present documents indicating they meet other exceptions as noted below. A valid COVID-19 molecular test result that meets the criteria noted above must also be presented. These exceptions may include:

  • Transiting foreign nationals – the proof document is their boarding pass that indicates their onward travel is within 24 hours of their scheduled flight to Canada.
  • Foreign Nationals leaving Canada – a boarding pass which indicates a foreign national is boarding a flight in Canada for the purposes of travelling out of Canada (e.g., returning home) is required.
  • Person invited by Minister of Health – a document from the Minister of Health indicating that this person was invited to assist with the response efforts to COVID-19.
  • Person delivering emergency services - a document from a government or non-government entity indicating the traveller was asked to enter Canada to deliver emergency services (paragraph 186 (t) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations).
  • Person who has been issued a permanent resident or temporary resident visa - a document from the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that confirms the traveller has been issued a permanent resident visa or temporary visa.
  • Diplomatic/Consular Affairs – a document confirming the traveller is travelling for diplomatic or consular affairs and has a D1, O1, or C1 visa, and is travelling for a purpose related to diplomatic or consular affairs.

Note: other exemptions are in place which may apply to the traveller. In these cases, they would need to have supporting documentation, specific to their circumstance.

Reporting to Transport Canada: False or Misleading Information

If the air carrier suspects that the traveller has provided false or misleading information relating to a proof of vaccination document, an exception document managed by the air carrier or a COVID-19 molecular test result, they are to notify Transport Canada within 72 hours. The following information is to be included:

  • the person’s name;
  • contact information (home address, telephone number, email address);
  • date and flight number; and
  • description of the potential non-compliance issue.

Please see Annex E for a summary of air carrier reporting requirements related to a traveller providing false or misleading information. For more details, please refer to SUPPLEMENTARY BULLETIN – INTERIM ORDER RESPECTING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR CIVIL AVIATION DUE TO COVID-19 (SSCIMS).

Onward Travel Domestically

The following summarizes the requirements, with some exceptions, for onward travel:

Type of Traveller Onward/domestic travel rules
Fully vaccinated traveller  permitted onward travel
Unvaccinated Canadian Citizen, permanent resident or a person registered under the Indian Act *  no onward travel permitted
Unvaccinated foreign nationals (who are allowed entry into Canada)  permitted onward travel (within 24 hours of the scheduled departure of their flight to Canada).

Important Note: quarantine measures have changed with the introduction of the “Immediate Requirement to Quarantine for Certain Quarantine Exempt Travellers entering Canada by Air or Land to Mitigate the Spread of the Omicron Variant” and some travellers may need to quarantine for up to 14 days upon arrival in Canada, even if fully vaccinated. Travellers should visit travel.gc.ca to understand the quarantine requirements. Additionally, please refer to Annex F for an information sheet that can be provided to travellers about onward travel.

* Air carriers are not to issue domestic boarding passes to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and persons registered under the Indian Act if they are not fully vaccinated.

Denial of boarding

Air carriers are required to deny boarding in the following circumstances:

  • 1. If a traveller fails to provide their proof of vaccination, or proof that they meet an exception (with a valid COVID-19 test result where applicable).
  • Air carriers must also keep a record of any denials of boarding due to lack of proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 molecular test result. Records are to be made available to Transport Canada on request and retained for at least 12 months.
  • The records must include:
    • Person’s name;
    • Contact Information (home address, telephone number and email address);
    • Date and flight number; and
    • Circumstances related to the refusal to comply.
  • Please see Annex E for a summary of air carrier reporting requirements related to denial of boarding or access to a restricted area. For more details, please refer to SUPPLEMENTARY BULLETIN – INTERIM ORDER RESPECTING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR CIVIL AVIATION DUE TO COVID-19 (SSCIMS) for further information on reporting schedules.
  • 2. If the air operator observes an air traveller with COVID-19 symptoms, the air operator will be required to deny boarding for travel for a period of 14 days or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the symptoms that the person is exhibiting are not related to the COVID-19 virus.
  • 3. The air carrier is also required to deny boarding if the air traveller:
    • does not have a mask in their possession, unless a medical certificate is provided (see Annex B for guidance on masks); or
    • refuses to comply with an instruction given by a crew member or gate agent with respect to wearing a mask.
  • Note: travellers who are under a quarantine order are NOT to be denied boarding in the case where the order has provisions that allow them to travel, as long as they meet all other requirements (e.g., are symptom-free and pass the health check). For further information on the federally mandated quarantine provisions, please refer to the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) Emergency Order.

If a denial of boarding situation occurs, the air operator should follow these steps:

  1. Provide explanation for future travel – Air carriers will explain to air travellers who are denied boarding, based on the health check or observation of symptoms, that they will need to wait 14 days before they are able to fly or that they will need to provide a medical certificate indicating the symptoms that they are exhibiting are not related to the COVID-19 virus.
  2. Advise air travellers to follow local health authority guidance related to COVID-19 – Air carriers should advise air travellers who have been denied boarding due to COVID-19 symptoms to follow the guidance/direction from their provincial/territorial health authorities for dealing with COVID-19.

In-flight – To be conducted as appropriate in accordance with the Interim Order:

  • Air carriers must require crew members and travellers to wear a mask during the flight, even if they are fully vaccinated. Please see Annex B for more details, including guidance on how to manage travelers when eating and drinking.
  • If, during a flight, a traveller refuses to comply with an instruction given by a crew member with respect to wearing a mask, the air operator must inform Transport Canada of the incident as soon as possible (generally expected within 24-48 hours after the incident or sooner), keep a record of the incident for a period of 12 months and provide a copy of the record to the Minister upon request the:
    • date and flight number;
    • traveller’s name and contact information, including the person’s date of birth, home address, telephone number and email address;
    • traveller’s seat number on the flight; and
    • circumstances related to this refusal to comply.

Ensuring this information related to the incident is as complete and accurate as possible will be essential in facilitating Transport Canada’s ability to conduct a suitable investigation. Having the support and assistance of air carriers in this process will be key to ensuring there is sufficient evidence to take enforcement action, if required.

Deplaning process (Domestic flights only) – to be conducted upon landing:

  • Air carriers are to advise travellers that they are required to wear a mask during the deplaning process. While there is no requirement from Transport Canada for travellers to wear a mask while deplaning at a location outside of Canada, please note that the department strongly recommends this practice, in accordance with ICAO CART recommendations (https://www.icao.int/covid/cart/Pages/default.aspx).

Section 3 – Exceptions/accommodations to the federal vaccination mandate

There are limited exceptions and few exemptions to the requirement for a traveller to be fully vaccinated. Please refer to Annex G for a decision-making tool to assist air carriers in navigating the exceptions and exemptions that are in place related to the federal vaccination mandate.

The following exceptions are noted directly in the Interim Order:

Group #1: Air Carrier Administered Temporary Exceptions for Passengers

Travellers must apply directly to the air carrier in advance of their flight to be considered for the following set of limited exceptions to the vaccination mandate, in order to obtain the necessary approval documents.

  • Medical inability to be vaccinated
  • Sincerely held religious belief
  • Essential medical services and treatment (including those requiring an escort)

Travellers must provide the following information to the air carrier to apply for these exceptions:

  • Name of person seeking exception
  • Address of person seeking exception
  • Name and address of person making the request (if different from the person seeking the exception)
  • The date of the flight (s)
  • The aerodrome of departure
  • The aerodrome of arrival
  • The flight(s) number

For travellers claiming a medical contraindication, the form must be signed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner and indicate that the person seeking the exception cannot complete a COVID-19 vaccination regimen due to a medical condition. The license number of either the medical doctor or nurse practitioner must also be provided. This request must be made by the traveller 21 days in advance of the scheduled departure date, however, should air carriers be able to process the request in a shorter timeframe that is at their discretion.

For travellers claiming a sincerely held religious belief, the form must be signed by a person appointed as a Commissioner of Oaths in Canada and must include a description of how the belief renders them unable to be vaccinated. This request must be made by the traveller 21 days in advance of the scheduled departure date, however, should air carriers be able to process the request in a shorter timeframe that is at their discretion.

For travellers claiming the need to travel for an essential medical service or appointment, the documentation must include: the signature of a medical doctor or nurse practitioner who is licensed to practice in Canada and their accompany licence numbers, the date and location of the appointment/essential service, the date on which the document was signed and an indication if an escort is required (if yes, the name and contact information of this person is required and the reason the accompaniment is required (e.g., the person is under 18 years of age, has a disability, or needs assistance communicating). This request must be made by the traveller 14 days in advance of the scheduled departure date; should air carriers be able to process the request in a shorter timeframe that is at their discretion. Please refer to Annex H for an information sheet that can be provided to travellers.

For more detailed information, please refer to the - Guidelines on requirements coming into force on November 30, 2021 – Common Content Considerations for Passengers (SSCIMS).

Group #2: Other exceptions that do not require pre-approval in advance from an air carrier but requires a COVID-19 molecular test result.

In the cases where the traveller presents proof of documentation to support the following exceptions, they must also have a valid COVID-19 molecular test result:

  1. Foreign Nationals: a foreign national who is leaving Canada to return home or to go to another country is not required to be fully vaccinated to board an aircraft. This provision allows foreign nationals to leave Canada to return home or to continue travelling as the intent of the federal vaccination mandate is not to strand foreign nationals in Canada. However, given the highly publicized rules that are now implemented, it is expected that this exception will only be in place until February 28, 2022, at which time it is anticipated that all foreign nationals would need to be fully vaccinated to board a flight in Canada, whether travelling domestically or internationally.
  2. Foreign Flight Crew: foreign flight crew are not required to be fully vaccinated, when deadheading or repositioning on a different airline. Additionally, if foreign flight crew are travelling to take mandatory training, they are also part of this exception. To be considered for this exception foreign crew must show their airline ID, be in uniform, or have documentation from their employer (i.e., air carrier) confirming that they are in fact foreign flight crew or travelling to become crew. Please consult Annex I for a letter that can be used to identify foreign crew members in these specific cases. Please note it is expected that on January 15, 2021 foreign flight crew will be required to be fully vaccinated per the Canadian definition to enter the restricted area of an airport in Canada.
  3. International to Domestic Travel (foreign nationals only): Under the Public Health Agency of Canada Orders in Council for entry, certain foreign nationals who arrive from an international or transborder last point of departure will be allowed to enter Canada without being fully vaccinated. In this instance, and to allow coherence between the international entry measures and that Transport Canada domestic rules, foreign nationals who are permitted to enter Canada are also allowed to connect to a flight to travel elsewhere within Canada without having proof of vaccination. In that instance, where the unvaccinated foreign national can demonstrate continuous travel (same 24-hour period as their international inbound flight), they will be allowed to use their boarding pass (from their inbound journey) in lieu of proof of vaccination to board a domestic connecting flight.

    Example: a foreign national flying from London, England with a scheduled departure at 06:00 arriving in Toronto at 12:00, and then a connecting to a flight from Toronto to Ottawa scheduled to depart at 17:00, should be allowed onward travel. The foreign national would need to show their boarding pass in lieu of proof of vacation since their inbound flight was at 06:00, and their connecting domestic flight is at 17:00 (within 24 hours). Operators should ensure that they are calculating the 24 hours based on a single time zone (e.g., GMT) for both the schedule departure to Canada and the scheduled departure of the connecting flight in Canada.
  4. A person invited by the Minister of Health to assist with COVID-19 response - A person who has been asked by the Minister of Health to assist with COVID-19 response efforts is not required to be fully vaccinated. However, they must provide a valid COVID-19 molecular test result and have a letter from the Minister of Health to present to the air carrier when boarding the flight.
  5. A person who provides emergency services (entering Canada to deliver these services) – those travelling for the distinct purpose of delivering emergency services are not required to be fully vaccinated. However, they must provide a valid COVID-19 molecular test result and have document from a government or non-government entity indicating that the traveller was asked to enter Canada to deliver emergency services.
  6. A person who has been issued a permanent resident visa or a temporary resident visa – a traveller who has been issued a permanent resident visa is not required to be fully vaccinated. However, they must provide a valid COVID-19 molecular test result and present a document from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (for new permanent residents, a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document for example) confirming the traveller has been issued a permanent resident visa.
  7. Diplomatic/Consular affairs – a person travelling for the purposes of diplomatic or consular affairs (e.g., an accredited person, a person holding a D1, O1, or C1 visa who is taking up post to become an accredited person, or a diplomatic or consular courier) is not required to be fully vaccinated. However, they must provide a valid COVID-19 molecular test result and present a document confirming they are boarding the aircraft for the purposes of diplomatic or consular affairs.

In addition to the exceptions noted within the Interim Order, Transport Canada is also issuing the following exemptions (e.g., outside of the Interim Order). Please note that official details are available in each specific exemption document that is available in Transport Canada’s Secure Supply Chain Information Management System (SSCIMS). Should you require access to SSCIMS, please contact the Aviation Security inbox: TC.AviationSecurity-Sureteaerienne.TC@tc.gc.ca.

Section 4 – Air carrier assistance

The following are different ways to seek assistance from Transport Canada as the requirements under the federal vaccination mandate are being operationalized.

Circumstance Contact Information
General air carrier questions (non-urgent) Aviation Security inbox: TC.AviationSecurity-Sureteaerienne.TC@tc.gc.ca
Urgent issue happening on the ground and your Air carrier’s HQ/Support Center doesn't have an answer

Contact the Transport Canada Situation Centre:

1-888-857-4003

Where to direct your travellers for information or to ask questions

Service Canada: 1-800-O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232)

This link can also be provided to direct travellers to Service Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/contact/contact-1-800-o-canada.html

Annex A – Sample email to travellers

Subject: Federal Vaccine Mandate – all travellers must be vaccinated to board a plane at Canadian airports

Hello,

Thank you for booking your flight with [insert name of air carrier].

Please be advised that Transport Canada is mandating that all travellers 12 years of age plus 4 months and older that are departing a Canadian Airport, for travel within Canada or abroad, to be fully vaccinated to enter the restricted area of an airport and subsequently to board their flight. There are limited exceptions to this requirement.

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have been vaccinated with one of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s approved vaccine regimens. Please refer to the following link: COVID-19 Vaccines: Authorized vaccines - Canada.ca for more information.

Proof of vaccination will be required during your travel journey, so be sure to have your documentation readily available. The documentation can be digital or in a paper form; however, you are encouraged to have a paper copy as a back-up to your digital proof. If you do not have proof of vaccination you risk being denied boarding.

There is a process in place for travellers to submit an exception request to the air carrier, if any of the following situations apply:

  • Medical inability to be vaccinated
  • Sincerely held religious belief
  • Essential medical services and treatment

More information on exemptions for passengers is available here: COVID-19 Boarding flights, trains and cruise ships in Canada – Travel restrictions in Canada – Travel.gc.ca

Please be advised that travellers who knowingly provide false or misleading information may be subject to a monetary penalty.

Please visit travel.gc.ca for more details.

Annex B – Masks

The Government of Canada requires that all travellers six years and older wear a mask large enough to cover their mouth, nose and chin during their entire travel journey. This applies to travellers who are fully vaccinated as well. For more information on masks, please consult: Non-Medical Masks: About.

Travellers must confirm that they have in their possession the mandatory mask as part of the registration or check-in process, otherwise they will be denied boarding.

Refusal to comply with the wearing of a mask could result in a fine of $5,000 for the traveller.

Safe Use of Removable Masks

Masks SHOULD: Masks SHOULD NOT:
  • Be made of multiple layersFootnote 1 of tightly woven fabric such as cotton or linen
  • Be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the mouth, nose and chin without gaps
  • Fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops (masks covering a person’s beard or secured around a headwear (e.g., turban) are also considered acceptable)Footnote 2
  • Be made of breathable materials
  • Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustments
  • Be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • Be stored in a clean paper or cloth bag until you put it on again
  • Be placed on children less than 2 years old
  • Be placed on anyone who’s unable to remove it without assistance
  • Be placed on anyone with a medical certificate indicating they should not wear a mask
  • Be made of materials that easily fall apart, like tissues
  • Be shared with others
  • Impair vision or interfere with tasks
  • Be removed to talk to someone

Note: If you're hard of hearing or interact with people who use lip-reading to communicate, consider wearing a clear maskFootnote 3.

The following outlines instances where there is an exception to the requirement to wear a mask:

  • If a traveller has a medical certificate indicating they are unable to wear a mask (see Conditions Preventing the Wearing of Masks or Face Coverings for an example certificate).
  • If the traveller is a child who is at least two years of age but less than six years of age (i.e., 2-5 years old) and is unable to tolerate wearing a mask. In this case, the adult responsible for the child must still ensure that a mask is made readily available to the child prior to boarding an aircraft for a flight and should still try to encourage the child to wear it.
  • Note: Children six and older must wear a mask when travelling, unless their parent or guardian has a medical certificate certifying they are unable to wear one due to medical reasons.
  • During the flight when the safety of the traveller could be endangered by wearing a mask or for brief periods when the person is eating, drinking, or taking oral medications.
  • Note: Travellers should make every effort to finish their drink or eat their food within a period of no longer than 15 minutes. Air carriers are encouraged to use this guideline, which is defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada as the threshold for “prolonged exposure” when enforcing this provision; however, it is acknowledged that there will be exceptional circumstances that will require some flexibility. It is also suggested that prior to serving any food or drinks in–flight that travellers be reminded that they are only allowed to remove their mask for a brief period (which could mean 15 minutes or less) to finish drinking or eating and that they must keep their mask on while waiting for any food or drink. Should a crew member feel the “brief” timeframe has been exceeded, they will ask them traveller to put their mask back on. Failure to comply could result in a fine for the traveller.
  • When a person who is asked by an air operator official, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer, or a Canadian public health official to briefly remove their mask at the security screening, boarding gate or customs-controlled areas of the airport for identification purposes.

Annex C – Provincial/territorial restrictions

Please note that provincial and territorial information changes on a frequent basis. It is recommended that the following provincial/territorial government websites be consulted to obtain the latest travel information:

Province/Territory Provincial / Territorial Web link
Alberta Travellers should consult Alberta COVID-19
British Columbia Travellers should consult British Columbia COVID-19
Manitoba Travellers should consult Manitoba COVID-19
New Brunswick Travellers should consult New Brunswick COVID-19
Newfoundland and Labrador Travellers should consult Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19
Northwest Territories Travellers should consult Northwest Territories COVID-19
Nova Scotia Travellers should consult Nova Scotia COVID-19
Nunavut Travellers should consult Nunavut COVID-19
Ontario Travellers should consult Ontario COVID-19
Prince Edward Island Travellers should consult Prince Edward Island COVID-19
Quebec Travellers should consult Quebec COVID-19
Saskatchewan Travellers should consult Saskatchewan COVID-19
Yukon Travellers should consult Yukon COVID-19

Available COVID-19 Resources:

Government of Canada: 1-833-784-4397 or visit www.canada.ca/coronavirus

Provincial and territorial:

Annex D1 – Pre-board notification to domestic travellers

The pre-board notification process can be done at automated check-in kiosks, by agents at the check-in counter, or any other means, at the discretion of the air operator; however, it is recommended that the traveller be made aware of the requirement to have a mask in their possession prior to arriving at the airport.

Pre-board notification to domestic travellers

The Government of Canada, along with provincial and territorial authorities, has put measures in place to manage the spread of COVID-19.

Please be advised that as of November 30, all travellers 12 years of age plus 4 months and older must be fully vaccinated in order to board a flight at most airports in Canada, unless they meet a limited exception.

Additionally, even if vaccinated, all travellers are required to have a removable mask to cover their mouth, nose and chin to prevent the inadvertent spread of COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. Failure to comply with wearing a mask may result in the traveller receiving a fine and being denied boarding.

As a reminder, no person should board a flight when they are feeling ill as this could potentially put others at risk. Should symptoms such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing develop while in flight, please notify a crew member immediately.

When arriving at your destination, you may be subject to further measures taken by the provincial or territorial government in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please remember it is your responsibility to be familiar with potential restrictions regarding your final destination point.

It is important to understand that providing false or misleading information could result in a maximum fine of $5,000.

Stay safe and be informed about COVID-19 measures from Canadian national, provincial and territorial health authorities that apply in the region where you are heading.

Annex D2 – Pre-board notification to travellers departing Canada

The pre-board notification process can be done at automated check-in kiosks, by agents at the check-in counter, or any other means, at the discretion of the air operator; however, it is recommended that the traveller be made aware of the requirement to have a mask in their possession prior to arriving at the airport.

Pre-board notification to travellers departing Canada

The Government of Canada has put measures in place to manage the spread of COVID-19.

Please be advised that as of November 30, all travellers 12 years of age plus 4 months and older must be fully vaccinated in order to board a flight at most airports in Canada, unless they meet a limited exception.

Additionally, even if vaccinated, all travellers are required to have a removable mask to cover their mouth, nose and chin to prevent the inadvertent spread of COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. Failure to comply with wearing a mask may result in the traveller receiving a fine and being denied boarding.

As a reminder, no person should board a flight when they are feeling ill as this could potentially put others at risk. Should symptoms such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing develop while in flight, please notify a crew member immediately.

Prior to your return to Canada, it is strongly recommended that you pre-register for an on-arrival COVID-19 molecular test, in order to avoid lengthy lines and processing delays. Information can be found at travel.gc.ca/testing.

It is important to understand that providing false or misleading information could result in a maximum fine of $5,000.

Stay safe and be informed about COVID-19 measures from Canadian national, provincial and territorial health authorities that apply in the region where you are heading.

Annex D3 – In-flight announcement for a Canadian domestic flight

In light of the global pandemic related to COVID-19, the Government of Canada, in cooperation with provincial/territorial public health authorities, has put in place important measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

Please be advised that as of November 30, all travellers 12 years of age plus 4 months and older must be fully vaccinated in order to board a flight at most airports in Canada, unless they meet a limited exception.

Prior to your return to Canada, it is strongly recommended that you pre-register for an on-arrival COVID-19 molecular test, to avoid lengthy lines and processing delays. Information can be found at travel.gc.ca/testing.

Travellers are also reminded that they must use their mask during their journey, regardless of their vaccination status. Upon landing, travellers will be required to wear their mask when gathering their belongings and leaving the aircraft, and until they are outside the air terminal building.

Stay safe and be informed about COVID-19 measures from Canadian national, provincial and territorial health authorities that apply in the region where you are heading.

Annex E – Air carrier reporting requirements

For further details, please refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY BULLETIN – INTERIM ORDER RESPECTING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR CIVIL AVIATION DUE TO COVID-19 (SSCIMS).

  Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4

 

False or misleading confirmation or evidence related to a COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination

Traveller denied boarding / denied access to the restricted area

PART A
- To be made available to the Minister on REQUEST as per 17.16(3)

PART B
- To be made available to the Minister on REQUEST as per 17.17(3)

Exception requests are made to the air carrier for:

  1. Medical inability to be vaccinated
  2. Sincere religious belief
  3. Essential medical services and treatment (including those requiring an escort)

Traveller refuses to comply with mask order

Contact Information/ To Whom?

Transport Canada

tc.sitcenhq-centredinterventionac.tc @tc.gc.ca

Part A & B

Transport Canada

tc.sitcenhq-centredinterventionac.tc@tc.gc.ca

Transport Canada

tc.sitcenhq-centredinterventionac.tc@tc.gc.ca

Transport Canada

tc.sitcenhq-centredinterventionac.tc@tc.gc.ca

Details Required

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Person’s flight number and date
  • Details of the false/misleading information

Part A

  • Number of incidences of denial in a 72 hr period
  • Reason for denial (No proof provided or Incomplete (showing only partial vax or wrong test))

 

Part B
For each of the incidences reported in Part A, should be able to provide a detailed record including:

  • person’s name
  • contact information (home address, telephone number and email address)
  • flight date and number

Grounds for denial

Part A

  • Number of exception applications
  • Number of approval documents issued
  • Number of denials issued

Part B
Air carrier must also keep a copy of the exception requests submitted by the traveller.

  • date and flight number
  • person’s name, date of birth and contact information, including the person’s home address, telephone number and email address,
  • the person’s seat number, and
  • circumstances related to the refusal to comply

 

Time Limit

Within 72 hours of the occurrence

Each week period will cover from Friday 00:01 to Thursday 23:59 ET The report must be sent by 12:00 ET (Noon) on Friday. The report must identify the numbers of denied entry/boarding.

Upon request ONLY

As soon as possible after incident occurs

Retention

None

12 months after the date of the flight

Part A - 12 months after the date of the flight

Part B – 90 days

12 months after the date of the flight

Notes

The air carrier is to make every effort to obtain the required information.

If the traveller is not able/unwilling to provide required information, the air carrier is to make note in their report that this information was requested but the traveller refused to provide the required information.

Air carrier is to make every effort to obtain the required information. 

If the traveller is not able/unwilling to provide required information, the air carrier is to make note in their report that this information was requested but the traveller refused to provide the required information.

 

 

Annex F – Information sheet for travellers

Getting to my final destination

Unvaccinated Canadians, permanent residents, and persons registered under the Indian Act arriving in Canada

Government of Canada COVID-19 response

The Government of Canada has put in place several layers of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including the introduction of a mandatory vaccination requirement for all travellers who are travelling within Canada.

I’m unvaccinated. What does this mean for me?

If you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered under the Indian Act, you will still be able to enter Canada if you are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, however, effective November 30, 2021 you will not be permitted to travel beyond your point of entry within Canada on a connecting flight or by rail, unless you meet one of the limited exemptions and have the necessary approval document in hand.

If I can’t take a connecting flight or train, how can I get to my final destination?

If you are unvaccinated upon arriving in Canada and need to travel onward to your final destination, you will need to arrange for private transportation. This could include renting a car, getting picked up, or by taking public transportation (such as a city bus). Please note that all federal and local public health measures, such as wearing a mask, should be followed when travelling to your final destination.

In addition, as an unvaccinated traveller, once you arrive in Canada, clear customs, and follow any instructions from public health officials, you must make your way directly to your place of quarantine. As onward travel by train or plane is not permitted, you must make arrangements to ensure you arrive at your place of quarantine.

What can I do in the future if I have to travel again as an unvaccinated traveller?

The Government of Canada strongly encourages all who are eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. However, if you are planning to travel and are unvaccinated you should plan your return to Canada accordingly by selecting a Canadian airport that is closest to your final destination. You must also be prepared to be subject to testing and quarantine.

Exemption Process

In very limited cases, travellers may be eligible for exemptions to the requirement to be fully vaccinated to travel within Canada. Examples of these cases include medical inability to be vaccinated, travel for an essential service or medical appointment, as well as a select few national interest exemptions. In all cases an exemption to travel must be applied for weeks in advance with the appropriate supporting documentation. If you think you qualify for one of these exemptions, please visit travel.gc.ca for more details.

Annex G – Decision-making tool to assist air carriers – Board/no-board assessment for travellers boarding a flight at a specified airport

Request a copy

Get a PDF copy sent to you by email.

Annex H – Travelling to attend a medical appointment within Canada

Government of Canada COVID-19 response

The Government of Canada has put in place several layers of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including the introduction of a mandatory vaccination requirement for all travellers who are travelling within Canada. There are a few limited exceptions to this requirement, which includes travelling to attend a medical appointment.

I’m unvaccinated and need to travel for an appointment. What does this mean for me?

If you are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a person registered under the Indian Act, you will still be able to travel within Canada to attend a medical appointment if you are not fully vaccinated. However, you will be required to present a valid COVID-19 molecular test result to board the flight.

Do I need proof I’m travelling for a medical appointment?

Yes. Travellers that are unvaccinated and travelling for a medical appointment will need to submit a form to the air carrier at least 14 days prior to their schedule flight. Either a medical doctor or nurse practitioner must sign the form and receive confirmation from the air carrier for this travel. Should you need an escort or travel companion, these individuals will be allowed to travel with you. They – and you - will need a valid COVID-19 molecular test result, if travelling unvaccinated.

Contact your air carrier to get this form. The air carrier will approve or deny your request based on the information provided. Once approved, your form will be valid for your return trip home as well. Many air carriers have approval forms posted these on their websites:

Air Canada – Travel Ready Hub

Exemption to vaccine requirements due to medical reasons:

https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/covid-19.html#/

Westjet Travel Information

Exemptions - Medical Exemptions:

https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/advisories

 

What if my appointment is less than 14 days from now?

You are encouraged to plan ahead as much as possible if travelling for a medical appointment. However, if there are unforeseen circumstances you are encouraged to speak to your air carrier to see if they can process your request in a shorter timeframe.

What about ongoing or regularly scheduled appointment – do I need to fill out a form each time?

Yes, unvaccinated travellers must complete this process each time they need to fly to a medical appointment from a specified airport in Canada, unless transiting from or returning to a remote community, in which case a different process may apply. Unvaccinated residents in Canada who must travel by air or train are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated for their own safety and the protection of those around them.

Please visit travel.gc.ca for more details.

Annex I – Template letter for foreign crew

The following letter can be used to identify foreign crew in the instances that they are repositioning or travelling to attend training. Alternatively, other means such as air carrier ID will also be accepted. Please note that it is expected that as of January 15, 2022 all foreign crew members will need to be vaccinated according to the Canadian standard in order to entire the restricted area of a Canadian airport.

 

[Letterhead of Air carrier]

[Insert Date of Letter]

Re: Confirmation of Air Crew Members

To Whom It May Concern,

This letter is to confirm that [Name on Crew Identification] is a member of the air crew of [Name of Air carrier] by virtue of their position as [Crew Member’s Title]. The person is travelling on active duty or is traveling to or within Canada to begin active duty (i.e., repositioning to become crew or are travelling to attend training).

Please process them under any relevant exceptions related to the Federal Vaccination Mandate for air crew

  • Being exempt from the requirement to present proof of vaccination.

They are considered an essential worker, crucial to the movement of goods and people and their travel is associated with this work.

Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the coordinates listed below.

Thank you,

[Name of Supervisor/Manager]

[Telephone Number of Supervisor/Manager]

[Email of Supervisor/Manager]

Annex J – List of specified airports in Canada

List of Specified Airports
# Airport Name ICAO
1 Abbotsford CYXX
2 Alma CYTF
3 Bagotville CYBG
4 Baie-Comeau CYBC
5 Bathurst CZBF
6 Brandon Municipal CYBR
7 Calgary International CYYC
8 Campbell River CYBL
9 Castlegar (West Kootenay Regional) CYCG
10 Charlo CYCL
11 Charlottetown CYYG
12 Chibougamau / Chapis CYMT
13 Churchill Falls CZUM
14 Comox CYQQ
15 Cranbrook CYXC
16 Dawson Creek CYDQ
17 Deer Lake CYDF
18 Edmonton International CYEG
19 Fort McMurray CYMM
20 Fort St. John CYXJ
21 Fredericton International CYFC
22 Gander International CYQX
23 Gaspé CYGP
24 Goose Bay CYYR
25 Grand Prairie CYQU
26 Greater Moncton International CYQM
27 Halifax (Robert L. Stanfield International) CYHZ
28 Hamilton CYHM
29 Iles-de-la-Madeleine CYGR
30 Iqaluit CYFB
31 Kamloops CYKA
32 Kelowna CYLW
33 Kingston CYGK
34 Kitchener / Waterloo Regional CYKF
35 La Grande Rivière CYGL
36 Lethbridge CYQL
37 Lloydminster CYLL
38 London CYXU
39 Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon CYBX
40 Medicine Hat CYXH
41 Montréal International (Mirabel) CYMX
42 Mont-Joli CYYY
43 Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport CYUL
44 Montreal (St Hubert) CYHU
45 Nanaimo CYCD
46 North Bay CYYB
47 Ottawa (Macdonald-Cartier International) CYOW
48 Penticton CYYF
49 Prince Albert CYPA
50 Prince George CYXS
51 Prince Rupert CYPR
52 Québec International (Jean Lesage International) CYQB
53 Quesnel CYQZ
54 Red Deer Regional CYQF
55 Regina CYQR
56 Rivière-Rouge (Mont-Tremblant International) CYFJ
57 Rouyn-Noranda CYUY
58 Saint John CYSJ
59 Sarnia (Chris Hadfield) CYZR
60 Saskatoon (John G. Diefenbaker International) CYXE
61 Sault Ste. Marie CYAM
62 Sept-Îles CYZV
63 Smithers CYYD
64 St. Anthony CYAY
65 St. John’s International CYYT
66 Stephenville CYJT
67 Sudbury CYSB
68 Sydney CYQY
69 Terrace CYXT
70 Thompson CYTH
71 Thunder Bay CYQT
72 Timmins CYTS
73 Toronto (City Centre) CYTZ
74 Toronto (Lester B/ Pearson International) CYYZ
75 Toronto/Buttonville Municipal CYKZ
76 Val-d’Or CYVO
77 Vancouver (Coal Harbour) CYHC
78 Vancouver International CYVR
79 Victoria International CYYJ
80 Wabush CYWK
81 Whitehorse International CYXY
82 Williams Lake CYWL
83 Windsor CYQG
84 Winnipeg (James Armstrong Richardson International) CYWG
85 Yellowknife CYZF