Government of Canada announces new domestic transportation measures

News release

March 28, 2020    Ottawa, ON    Transport Canada

The Government of Canada continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and is constantly determining what new measures may be required to contain the spread of the virus.

To that end, today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced that the Government of Canada is introducing new domestic transportation measures to support provincial, territorial and local efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading from travelling within Canada.

These new measures include:

Air

  • A requirement for all air operators to conduct a health check of travellers before they board a flight within Canada or departing from Canada, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This would include asking health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the traveller follow guidance from local health authorities.
  • A requirement for air operators to refuse boarding to a passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms. The denial will remain in effect for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19. These measures will apply to aircraft with 10 seats or more.
  • A requirement for air operators to notify travellers that they may be subject to provincial or territorial measures at their final destination.
  • These measures will come into effect on March 30, 2020 at noon EDT.
Rail
  • A requirement for intercity passenger rail companies to do a health check to screen passengers for COVID-19 symptoms before they board a train, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This will include company representatives asking simple health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the passenger follow guidance from local health authorities. 
  • A requirement for intercity passenger rail companies to refuse boarding to a passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms. The denial will remain in effect for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
  • These measures do not apply to commuter trains.
  • These measures will come into effect on March 30, 2020 at noon EDT.
We remain in contact on a daily basis with the key transportation industry partners, operators and employee associations, international counterparts including in the United States and Europe, as well as provincial and territorial governments to assist with efforts in response to COVID-19.

Quotes

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the transportation industry, travellers, shippers and the economy. We recognize the importance of the continued movement of goods and the ongoing delivery of essential services in Canada’s response to COVID‑19, while taking necessary measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction and will ensure alignment on a national level. I also want to thank all essential workers in the trade and transportation sector for continuing to provide services that benefit Canadians and the economy in this difficult time.”

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau

Quick facts

  • Intercity passenger rail operators subject to the new measures are: Great Canadian Railtour Company Ltd.; Keewatin Railway Company; National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK); Pacific & Arctic Railway Navigation, British Columbia & Yukon Railway, British Yukon Railway doing business as White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (WP&YR); Transport Ferroviaire Tshiuetin Inc.; and VIA Rail Canada Inc.

  • Canadians should continue to think ahead about the actions that they can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, including:

Associated links

Contacts

Livia Belcea
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
(613) 991-0700
livia-marina.belcea@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

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