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COVID-19 measures, updates, and guidance issued by Transport Canada

From: Transport Canada

Updates to transportation related measures taken by Transport Canada in response to the evolving novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). For travel advice and all other updates, please visit Canada.ca/coronavirus.

COVID-19

Wearing masks for travel within Canada is not required .

Although the masking requirement is being lifted, all travellers are strongly recommended to wear high quality and well-fitted masks during their journeys.

Privacy Notice Statement - Covid-19 Vaccination Transportation Policy

Transport Canada is committed to respecting your privacy. The purpose of this Privacy Notice Statement is to outline how Transport Canada will handle the collection, use, disclosure, retention, protection and processing of personal information of passengers and crew in the federally regulated air, rail and marine sectors in the context of the mandatory vaccination requirements under applicable orders, in compliance with its obligations under the federal Privacy Act , the Privacy Regulations, and in accordance with applicable policies, directives and guidelines of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS).

Please refer to section 3 of the Privacy Act for details regarding personal information.

Necessity of Collection

Transport Canada is responsible for monitoring and supervising Canada’s national transportation system comprising the air, marine and inter-provincial rail transportation sectors. Under various statutes, Transport Canada has adopted measures imposing mandatory vaccination requirements in these sectors which seek to address the significant safety risks posed by COVID-19 to Canada’s transportation system. Mandatory vaccination requirements apply to all passengers, crew and other designated persons in federally regulated air, rail and marine sectors, with very limited exceptions, and require them to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a part of Transport Canada’s approach to protecting passengers and employees and the community from COVID-19 and ensuring safe workplaces.

The collection of personal information related to a person’s compliance with applicable Transport Canada measures is a necessary component of monitoring and ensuring the safety of each transportation sector and the national transportation system more broadly. Vaccination is one of the most effective tools available to protect against the health and safety impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the transportation sector. The collection of information on passenger travel and denial of boarding related to COVID-19 vaccination, combined with other preventative public health measures adopted by Transport Canada, helps ensure the best available protection for Canadians travelling, working, or otherwise involved in the transportation system.

Transport Canada’s Audit and Enforcement Activities in the Transportation Sector

Transport Canada is responsible for operationalizing the vaccine mandate for the transportation sector, and oversees compliance with the mandate through inspections and other enforcement tools. Below you will find more information on how personal information is handled in this context for each transportation mode.

1. Aviation

Legal authority of collection.

For specified classes of individuals subject to the applicable Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19 (Interim Order), Transport Canada may collect personal information in the course of an inspection or audit pursuant to sections 8.7 and 8.8 of the Aeronautics Act . The authority to issue Interim Orders is pursuant to sections 4.71 and 6.41 of this Act.

Class of Individuals:

Air passengers departing from airports in Canada, crew members, employees working in restricted areas (who are not boarding flights), aerodrome operators, and employees of federally-regulated transportation companies, or any class of individual listed in the applicable Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19.

Description of Personal Information and Purpose of Collection:

Transport Canada may collect personal information for the purposes of monitoring and auditing compliance with Interim Orders and related enforcement activities, for example, during instances of non-compliance by those subject to the applicable the Interim Order requirements.

To comply with the Interim Order requirements, air carriers and federally-regulated operators and screening authorities will document when an individual is denied boarding or denied entry into the restricted area of the airport based on the Interim Order requirements and notify Transport Canada of such incidents. Furthermore, as required under the Interim Order, if an air carrier or the screening authority has reason to believe that a person has provided a confirmation or evidence related to the Interim Order that is likely to be false or misleading, they must notify Transport Canada and provide information to Transport Canada if requested. To follow-up on these reports, Transport Canada may request a copy of the record under its oversight and compliance program as outlined in the Aeronautics Act and the applicable Interim Order.

The information to be provided to Transport Canada, at the time of notification or upon request, may include personal information, such as, but not limited to:

  • home address
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • flight date, number and carrier
  • number/identifier of the document of entitlement (for access to restricted areas)
  • the reason why the person was denied permission to board, or denied entry/access
  • This could include information related to the person’s vaccination status
  • This could include information related to the person’s vaccination status, religious belief, occupation or work, and/or medical information.
  • This could include information such as name and contact information of the person’s medical doctor or nurse practitioner
  • other, as deemed necessary.

Consistent Uses and Disclosures:

Transport Canada may use this personal information to monitor, assess and enforce regulations, including, in certain cases, to impose monetary penalties, to protect public safety under the Aeronautics Act and its applicable Interim Orders. This personal information may be disclosed to other federal institutions where authorized by law.

Personal information may also be used in depersonalized reports for monitoring and statistical purposes as well as various related administrative functions.

Retention and Disposal Standards:

All documentation and personal information provided in this context and for the purposes of audit and enforcement by Transport Canada will be retained for a period which will be determined and communicated on this page when available.

Personal Information Bank “Aviation Enforcement”:

In accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act , the personal information collected is described in Personal Information Bank (PIB) entitled “Aviation Enforcement”, Transport Canada PPU 015. The full text of this PIB is currently being modified to include the activities mentioned above. The modified PIB will be published in Transport Canada’s chapter of the TBS Info Source publication, which is available at https://tc.canada.ca/en/info-source or by contacting Transport Canada’s ATIP Office at [email protected] .

Legal Authority for Collection

Transport Canada may collect personal information pursuant to section 32.01 of the Railway Safety Act and its applicable Ministerial Orders in the course of inspection and enforcement.

Rail passengers on VIA Rail, AMTRAK, and Rocky Mountaineer trains, as well as employees of federally-regulated railway companies who have been identified in the course of inspection or enforcement of the requirements under the applicable Ministerial Order.

Description of Personal Information and Purpose of Collection

Transport Canada may collect personal information for the purposes of inspection and enforcement activities to verify compliance with the Railway Safety Act and its applicable Ministerial Orders. Furthermore, as required under Ministerial Orders, if a railway company has reason to believe that a person has provided a confirmation or evidence that is likely to be false or misleading, they must notify and may provide information to Transport Canada, if requested.

  • date, travel code, and carrier
  • the reason why the person was denied permission to board

Transport Canada may use personal information to monitor, assess and enforce regulations to protect public safety under the Rail Safety Act and its applicable Ministerial Orders. This personal information may be disclosed to other federal institutions where authorized by law.

Retention and Disposal:

Personal information bank.

The collection, use, and disclosure of personal information will be further described in a personal information bank which is currently under development.

Transport Canada may collect personal information pursuant to the applicable Interim Order Respecting Passenger Vessel Restrictions due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), made pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 , and the authority of inspectors under section 211 of the Act.

Marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages of more than 24 hours, and other classes of individuals who have been identified as relevant for data collection related to inspections and/or other enforcement actions related to the requirements under the Interim Order.

Transport Canada may collect personal information for the purposes of audit and enforcement activities to comply with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and its applicable Interim Orders. Furthermore, as required under Ministerial Orders, if a federally-regulated company has reason to believe that a person has provided a confirmation or evidence that is likely to be false or misleading, they must notify and may provide information to Transport Canada, if requested.

  • date and trip details, vessel name

Transport Canada may use personal information to monitor, assess and enforce regulations to protect public safety under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and its applicable Interim Orders. This personal information may be disclosed to other federal institutions where authorized by law.

Personal Information Bank: “Marine Safety Enforcement Program”

The collection, use, and disclosure of personal information will be further described in the Personal Information Bank entitled “Marine Safety Enforcement Program”, Transport Canada PPU 021. The full text of this PIB is currently being modified to include the activities mentioned above. The modified PIB will be published in Transport Canada’s chapter of the TBS Info Source publication, which is available at https://tc.canada.ca/en/info-source or by contacting Transport Canada’s ATIP Office at [email protected] .

4. Transport Canada’s National Interest Exemption Form Process

Transport Canada may collect personal information pursuant to the applicable legislation, under the Aeronautics Act , Railway Safety Act or Canada Shipping Act, 2001 , and it will only be used and disclosed by Transport Canada in accordance with the Privacy Act and its regulations.

Persons seeking to travel by air, rail, or marine mode, and subject to requirements as ‘passengers’ in the relevant Interim or Ministerial Order.

Transport Canada may collect personal information for the purposes of approving or denying requests for exemption from the requirement for mandatory full vaccination under the applicable Interim or Ministerial Orders where the purpose for the travel is exceptional, and considered to be in the national interest.

The information to be provided to Transport Canada by the traveller (or acting party) for consideration under the National Interest Exemption process may include personal information, such as, but not limited to:

  • date of birth
  • name of associated organization/employer
  • reason for exemption: in a clinical trial for COVID vaccines, critical infrastructure needs, other national interest – and brief description
  • trip details (e.g. departure date and city, destination, mode of travel)
  • other, as deemed necessary (e.g. amplifying information related to purpose of travel to determine if it meets criteria of national interest).

Personal information collected in this form may be used by Transport Canada for the following purposes:

  • determine the qualification of the applicant identified on the form for temporary exemption to the mandatory requirement for vaccination for exceptional travel in the national interest;
  • contact the individual in the event that Transport Canada requires clarification, additional information, and/or to address requests for modification;
  • communicate the approval or denial to the applicant;
  • for public health follow-up (including disclosure of specified information for this purpose to the organization and/or site(s) specific to the applicant’s exemption); and/or,
  • for program evaluation and aggregate statistics.

Transport Canada may collect and use personal information to monitor, assess, and enforce regulations to protect public safety under the Aeronautics Act , Railway Safety Act or Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and its applicable Interim or Ministerial Orders. This personal information may be disclosed to other federal institutions where necessary to render a decision or where authorized by law.

In other limited and specific circumstances, personal information may be used and/or disclosed without consent in accordance with section 7 and subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act .

All documentation and personal information provided in this context and for the purposes of receiving an exemption will be retained for a minimum of three years following its last administrative use.

The personal information provided to Transport Canada is governed in accordance with the Privacy Act and its regulations and is requested as part of the Government of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Personal information collected, as well as its use, disclosure, and retention, is typically described in a Personal Information Bank published on Transport Canada’s Info Source page ( https://tc.canada.ca/en/info-source ). At this time, the relevant Personal Information Bank is under development or may not yet reflect this activity.

Under the Privacy Act , you have the right to access your personal information and request corrections to your personal information. Should you wish to exercise your rights under the Privacy Act , or have any questions about this privacy notice statement, contact Transport Canada’s ATIP Office:

Transport Canada Access to Information and Privacy Office Place de Ville, Tower C 330 Sparks Street Ottawa, ON, K1A 0N5 [email protected]

Should you wish to lodge a complaint with respect to the handling of your personal information, you may do so by contacting the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada .

Updates to Privacy Notice Statement

The updated Privacy Notice Statement will supersede earlier versions and will apply to personal information provided to Transport Canada at any juncture.

   Detailed information

Guidance, exemptions, safety alerts and bulletins for the air industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marine Transportation

Guidance, interim orders and ship safety bulletins for the marine industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Road Transportation

Guidance for the road industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Rail Transportation

Guidance, orders and temporary exemptions for the rail industry during the COVID-19 pandemic

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

Temporary certificates and transporting requirements for transporting dangerous goods during the COVID-19 pandemic

Transport Canada Newsroom

News releases and backgrounders on changes in Canada’s transportation sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Where provinces and territories stand on travel restrictions as Omicron concerns rise

Travelling within canada you may face different rules on testing, quarantining depending on your destination.

air travel requirements within canada

Social Sharing

The federal government is advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada  as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly worldwide. Incoming travellers are subject to testing and self-isolation requirements  based on their vaccination status.

But when it comes to travel within Canada, the rules vary. Individual provinces and territories may have their own set of restrictions and quarantine rules that people must follow in addition to federal guidelines.

For people travelling by plane or train between jurisdictions, a federal policy currently requires everyone 12 and up to show proof of vaccination to board domestic or international flights departing from most airports in Canada, as well as VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.

Here's a look at some of the other rules travellers may face depending on the province or territory they are entering.

(There may be additional or separate rules for travellers coming from outside of Canada or children under the age of 12; check each jurisdiction's website for details.)

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nearly everyone 12 and up entering Newfoundland and Labrador must submit this travel form within 30 days of their expected travel date, with  limited exemptions .

If a traveller is fully vaccinated:

Starting Dec. 21, incoming travellers  must self-isolate for five days upon arrival and take a rapid COVID-19 test every day for five days, after which point they can leave isolation if all results are negative. 

Rotational workers can follow modified self-isolation for those five days but must also book a PCR test between Days 0-3. Anyone who has visited a post-secondary institution outside the province in the past 14 days must also take a PCR test within their first days of arrival.

If a traveller is not fully vaccinated:

Travellers must self-isolate until they receive the negative results from a PCR test taken on Day 7 or later, or self-isolate for 14 days if they choose not to be tested. 

They must avoid vulnerable people and are barred from visiting long-term care facilities, sporting events and large crowded settings in the first 14 days after they arrive.

On Dec. 17, the province banned any travel around the province for sporting events, recreation and arts events , though teams can continue to play within their own region.

air travel requirements within canada

Challenges with COVID-19 testing access affects accuracy of case counts

Prince edward island.

As of Dec. 22, all travellers coming onto the Island will be required to self-isolate .

Fully vaccinated: 

  • They are required to self-isolate for four days.
  • They will receive rapid antigen screening tests from the government, according to a news release , and must test negative using those tests on Day 2 and Day 4 of their isolation.
  • They are asked not to host or attend New Year's Eve parties or staff parties while in the province.

Not fully vaccinated:

  • They must isolate for eight days and receive negative results from two rapid tests, taken when they arrive in the province and on Day 8 of their isolation.
  • They must also submit a self-isolation declaration form, which can be found here .

P.E.I. announced on Dec. 14 it is banning travel to or from the province for participation in organized recreational events , including sports, arts and culture-related gatherings. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Maritime Junior Hockey League are exempt.

Nova Scotia

Nearly everyone ages 12 and up must complete this safe check-in form before entering Nova Scotia from another province or territory. This includes people who are fully vaccinated.

Those who don't need to complete the form (full list of exemptions here ) include travellers who are following the COVID-19 Protocol for Atlantic Canada Travel . This guidance applies to people who travel between Nova Scotia and another Atlantic province regularly or for certain reasons.

Fully vaccinated:

Travellers are not required to self-isolate, though testing is recommended.

Travellers may need to self-isolate for seven days, at which point they can leave self-isolation 1) if they receive two negative test results or 2) without getting tested if they have official documentation showing they recently recovered from COVID-19. 

Certain travellers who are not fully vaccinated, such as some essential workers, are exempt from the self-isolation requirement but may need to follow a separate protocol .

On Dec. 1, Nova Scotia announced new rules for children 11 and under that prohibit travelling into or out of the province to participate in arts or sports games, competitions and tournaments.

air travel requirements within canada

New Brunswick

All travellers ages 12 and up must pre-register online here and provide proof of vaccination (or proof of medical exemption), with some exceptions .

Travellers are not required to self-isolate and can apply for a multi-use pass.

Travellers must self-isolate for 14 days or until they obtain a negative test result on Day 10 or later. They will be required to register for each trip into the province.

Travellers who have proof of a medical exemption don't need to self-isolate and can apply for a multi-use pass.

Travellers arriving from another province or territory don't need to self-isolate, but the province says non-essential travel should be avoided .

Travel to the territories of Nunavik and the Cree Territory of James Bay is restricted to essential reasons (humanitarian, for work or to obtain health care). Those entering the regions are subject to conditions including a 14-day quarantine.

Travellers arriving from another province or territory don't need to self-isolate  unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.

In Thunder Bay, officials are asking residents to avoid all non-essential travel outside the region regardless of vaccination status.

air travel requirements within canada

‘Rules are changing all the time:’ Advice for travellers in the era of omicron

Travellers are not required to self-isolate . However, they are strongly advised to get a COVID-19 test on Day 1 of arrival, and again on Day 10.

With some exceptions , travellers must self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of test results or whether they are showing symptoms.

Manitoba also has a public health order in place restricting travel to northern Manitoba and remote communities.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan's website does not list any province-specific travel restrictions, but notes travellers returning from an out-of-province trip do not have to self-isolate .

However, passengers who travelled on flights with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are asked to self‑monitor for symptoms for 14 days after their arrival.

As with other provinces and territories, travellers in Alberta must follow federal requirements for travel within Canada .

air travel requirements within canada

Canada warns against non-essential travel abroad as Omicron spreads

British columbia.

As with other provinces and territories, travellers in British Columbia must follow federal requirements for travel within Canada .

That means proof of vaccination is required for those ages 12 and up on plane, train and cruise ships. However, BC Ferries does not require proof of vaccination.

While there are no restrictions barring entry into Yukon , the territory's health officials recommend avoiding travel between communities until further notice.

Some First Nations governments and communities may have additional travel advisories in place, which can be found  here .

Northwest Territories

Non-residents are currently not allowed to enter the territory for leisure travel unless they are travelling to a remote tourist location. Certain other non-residents may qualify for an exemption . 

All residents entering the territory, regardless of vaccination status, must submit a Self-Isolation Plan (SIP) .

On Dec. 17, the territory loosened isolation requirements for some travellers while introducing some new testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.

Travellers are not required to self-isolate once they have an approved SIP.

Those travelling into small communities (as defined here ) or who either work or volunteer with vulnerable populations must take a Day 0 or 1 test, followed by a Day 8 test.

Travellers must self-isolate for 10 days but can end self-isolation early on Day 8 if they obtain a negative test taken by a health-care provider.

Those travelling into small communities must complete their self-isolation in a larger centre.

air travel requirements within canada

All travellers who depart or connect through Iqaluit airport (including people who travel from Iqaluit to another Nunavut community) must meet the federal travel requirements for vaccination and testing. 

While Ottawa has barred unvaccinated travellers over the age of 12 from boarding a plane or train in Canada, it is accepting a valid COVID-19 molecular test as an alternative for passengers from remote communities and in other limited situations .

The federal requirements don't apply to travellers flying between Nunavut communities who do not transit through the Iqaluit airport.

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Air Passenger Protection Regulations Highlights

Table of contents.

New refund regulations are now in effect for flights that are cancelled or have long delays due to a situation outside the airline’s control . The new regulations apply to flights taken on or after September 8, 2022.

Introduction

On May 24, 2019, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) announced that the Air Passenger Protection Regulations are now finalized.

The final regulations reflect input that the CTA received from the public, consumer rights groups, and the airline industry during extensive consultations held from May 28 to August 28, 2018, and during a 60-day comment period following the publication of draft regulations on December 22, 2018. The regulations are being made by the CTA under the Canada Transportation Act (Act), as amended by the Transportation Modernization Act on May 23, 2018.

The regulations provide for clearer and more consistent air passenger rights by imposing certain minimum airline requirements in air travel – including standards of treatment and, in some situations, compensation for passengers. The regulations set out airlines' obligations to passengers in the following areas:

  • Communication;
  • Delayed or cancelled flights;
  • Denied boarding;
  • Tarmac delays;
  • The seating of children under the age of 14;
  • Lost or damaged baggage; and
  • The transportation of musical instruments.

The regulations came into effect in two stages. On July 15, 2019, airlines were required to meet new obligations concerning communication, denied boarding, tarmac delay, baggage and the transportation of musical instruments. The remaining obligations on flight disruptions and seating of children came into effect on December 15, 2019.

Application

To ensure robust passenger protection, the regulations apply to all flights to, from, and within Canada. This includes connecting flights.

The regulations also apply to both large and small airlines. However, different requirements for compensation and rebooking apply to small airlines, given their unique operating circumstances. Large airlines are those that have transported at least two million passengers in each of the two preceding years. All other airlines are considered to be small.

The vast majority of passenger flights to, from and within Canada are operated by large airlines. Small airlines offer important services to remote, regional and northern areas of Canada, as well as low-cost services.

Flight Disruptions

The Act provides that airlines will have the following obligations to passengers in case of flight disruptions, depending on the level of their control over the situation:

  • Situation within airline control: compensation; standards of treatment; and completion of passenger's itinerary;
  • Situation within airline control but required for safety purposes: standards of treatment; and completion of passenger's itinerary;
  • Situation outside airline control: completion of passenger's itinerary only.

Definitions of situations within and outside of the airline's control

Situations within airline control are any situations not covered by the two categories below.For example, they include commercial overbooking; scheduled maintenance of an aircraft that is necessary to comply with legal requirements; or mechanical malfunction of the aircraft identified during scheduled maintenance.

Situations within airline control but required for safety purposes are typically unforeseen events legally required to reduce safety risk to passengers. While this includes mechanical problems, it does not include scheduled maintenance or mechanical problems identified during scheduled maintenance. Safety decisions made by the pilot and those made under an airline's Safety Management System would also fall into this category.

Situations outside airline control include: war or political instability; illegal acts or sabotage; meteorological conditions or natural disasters that make the safe operation of the aircraft impossible; instructions from air traffic control; a Notice to Airmen (as defined in the Canadian Aviation Regulations ); a security threat; airport operation issues; a medical emergency; a collision with wildlife; a labour disruption within the carrier or within an essential service provider such as an airport or an air navigation service provider; a manufacturing defect in an aircraft that reduces the safety of passengers and that was identified by the manufacturer of the aircraft concerned, or by a competent authority; and an order or instruction from an official of a state or a law enforcement agency or from a person responsible for airport security.

Requirements as of July 15, 2019

air travel requirements within canada

Clear communication

General information.

The regulations require that passengers be informed of their rights in a timely, clear and accessible way. Airlines will have to provide passengers with information in simple, clear and concise language on their terms and conditions of carriage for:

  • Flight delay or cancellation;
  • Denial of boarding;
  • The seating of children under 14 years of age.

This information will have to be provided electronically and on all travel documents the airline provides to the passenger. This could be done via a hyperlink to the airline's website. Airlines will also be required to make reasonable efforts to ensure that official ticket resellers provide this information to customers.

During a flight disruption

Airlines will be required to keep passengers regularly informed if there is a flight disruption (flight and tarmac delays; flight cancellations; and denials of boarding).

They will have to tell passengers why their flight has been disrupted as soon as is feasible. This information will have to be provided through:

  • an audible announcement;
  • a visible announcement, upon request; and
  • the available communication method the passenger has selected (e.g., email, SMS).

Airlines will have to provide flight status updates every 30 minutes until a new departure time has been confirmed. The airline must offer any new status information to passengers as soon as is feasible, which may be sooner than 30 minutes after the last update.

Accessibility for persons with disabilities

Airlines will have to ensure that communication is accessible to persons with disabilities. Where information is provided digitally, the format will have to be compatible with adaptive technologies used by persons with disabilities. If information is provided in paper format, the airline will have to be able to provide it in large print, Braille or a digital format, upon request.

air travel requirements within canada

Denied boarding

Denied boarding occurs when a passenger has a valid ticket for a flight, but is not allowed to occupy a seat on board the aircraft because the number of passengers who have checked in, have proper documentation and are at the gate on time is greater than the number of available  seats that can be occupied.

Before any carrier denies boarding to a passenger for reasons within its control or required for safety, it must look for volunteers to give up their seat. Once an airline has found a volunteer to give up their seat, the airline must put in writing for them the benefits agreed to prior to the departure of their flight.

Any passenger who is denied boarding for a reason that is within the airline's control and is not required for safety – for example, commercial overbooking or a change in aircraft due to scheduled maintenance – would be entitled to compensation. A passenger's compensation would be based on length of delay at arrival at their final destination.

Minimum Levels of Compensation

The airline operating the affected flight will have to issue compensation at the time the passenger is notified that they are denied boarding. The amount of compensation could be supplemented if a passenger's delay at arrival is longer than was expected when payment was issued. If payment cannot be made before the passenger's new departure time, the airline would be required to issue the payment within 48 hours.

After an airline denies boarding to a passenger, they must rebook them free of charge, meeting the same obligations as described for flight delays and cancellations below. While the passenger waits for their new flight, the airline must provide the standards of treatment described for flight delays and cancellations below.

air travel requirements within canada

Tarmac delays

The regulations ensure that during tarmac delays – whether they occur in Canada or abroad – passengers are properly treated.  Standards of treatment for all tarmac delays include, at minimum, access to working lavatories, proper ventilation and heating or cooling, food and drink, and the ability to communicate with people outside the plane free of charge, if feasible.

As well, after a 3 hour tarmac delay at a Canadian airport, airlines will be required to return to the gate so that passengers can disembark. However, a plane will be permitted to stay on the tarmac for up to 45 additional minutes, if it is likely that it will take off within that period and the airline is able to continue providing the required standards of treatment.

This allowance for a short extension is intended to ensure that the plane can take off if there is a reasonable prospect of this occurring – so that passengers reach their final destination and do not suffer further inconvenience caused by a flight cancellation.

However, if take off is not likely to occur within that 45 minute window, the plane will have to return to the gate. In no circumstances will airlines be permitted to exceed this time, unless they are prevented for reasons related to safety, security, customs or air traffic control.

air travel requirements within canada

Lost, delayed or damaged baggage

Under the Montreal Convention, an international air transport treaty to which Canada is a party, airlines can be held liable for baggage that is damaged, delayed or lost during international travel, up to approximately $2350, subject to currency exchange rates. To provide better protection to passengers travelling within Canada, the airlines will be held liable for up to the same amount for baggage that is lost or damaged during domestic flights. For delayed baggage, the applicable limits of liability and related terms and conditions are those set out by airlines in their domestic tariffs (the contract of transport between the passenger and the airline), which are expected to be consistent with the Montreal Convention.

A passenger must file a claim for expenses in writing with the airline. For damaged baggage, the claim must be submitted within seven days after the passenger receives the baggage. For potentially lost baggage, the claim should be submitted as soon as possible. For delayed baggage during international travel, the claim must be submitted within 21 days after receiving the baggage. For delayed baggage during domestic flights, the claim should be submitted as soon as possible and no later than the time limit found in the terms and conditions applicable to the ticket purchased with the airline.

In addition, the regulations require airlines to reimburse passengers for any baggage fees paid if their baggage is damaged or lost. For delayed baggage, obligations regarding fees charged for baggage would be outlined in the airline's tariff.

air travel requirements within canada

Transportation of musical instruments

Airlines will have to include, in their tariffs, terms and conditions of carriage regarding the transportation of musical instruments as checked or carry-on baggage. This includes:

  • Weight, size and quantity restrictions;
  • Cabin storage options;
  • Options in the event of aircraft downgrading; and
  • Fees for transporting musical instruments.

A policy which simply states that the airline will not accept musical instruments does not meet the requirements.

Requirements as of December 15, 2019

air travel requirements within canada

Flight disruptions (as of December 15, 2019)

Communication.

In addition to the communication requirements above, airlines have to provide passengers with information on the applicable standards of treatment and compensation. They also have to tell passengers about their recourse options, including the ability to make a complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency.

Airlines are required to pay passengers compensation for flight delays or cancellations that are in their control and not related to safety. Passengers are entitled to compensation based on the length of delay at arrival at their final destination:

A passenger has one year to make a compensation claim with the airline that operated the disrupted flight. The airline has 30 days to respond by issuing a payment or indicating why it believes compensation is not owed.

Airlines have to offer passengers this compensation in monetary form. They can also offer passengers alternative forms of compensation (e.g., vouchers or rebates), but passengers always have the right to select what they prefer. As well, alternative forms of compensation offered have to be of higher value than the monetary compensation that is required, and can never expire.

Standards of Treatment

The regulations establish minimum standards of treatment that airlines have to provide to passengers for delays at departure that are within their control, or within their control and required for safety purposes.

After a delay at departure of 2 hours, the airline operating the disrupted flight has to provide:

  • food and drink in reasonable quantities; and
  • a means of communication (e.g., free wifi).

If a passenger must wait overnight, airlines have to offer hotel or other comparable accommodation free of charge, as well as free transportation to the accommodation.

Rebooking and refund

For all types of flight delays or cancellations, the airline operating the flight has to ensure passengers complete their itinerary (that is, reach their final destination). When a flight is cancelled, or once a delay reaches 3 hours, an airline must also offer alternate travel arrangements in the same class of service and using a reasonable route. The airline must rebook the passenger on the next available flight operated by them or an airline with which they have a commercial agreement.

If the situation is within the airline's control (whether or not it's related to safety), if that next available flight would not leave within 9 hours of the original departure time, a large carrier must rebook the passenger on a flight operated by any airline. This could mean booking a ticket with a competing airline.

If a large airline is unable to rebook a passenger on a flight leaving the same airport within 48 hours of the original departure time, they have to book the passenger on a flight leaving another airport, if there is an option nearby.

For disruptions other than those outside the airline's control , a passenger would be entitled to a refund instead of rebooking, if:

  • the arrangements offered do not meet their travel needs; or
  • there is no longer any purpose to the travel, because of the disruption.

Passengers who experience a flight disruption that is within the airline's control but not required for safety and who choose to take a ticket refund instead of rebooking must still be compensated for inconvenience. Large airlines must pay them $400 and small airlines, $125.

In the event of a flight disruption outside of the airline's control , a large airline is required to rebook using the services of another (competing) airline, if the next available flight operated by them or an airline with which they have a commercial agreement does not depart within 48 hours of the end of the event that caused the disruption.

If a large airline is unable to rebook a passenger on a flight leaving the same airport within 48 hours of the end of the event that caused the disruption, they have to book the passenger on a flight leaving another airport, if there is an option nearby.

air travel requirements within canada

Seating of children (as of December 15, 2019)

Airlines have to, at no extra cost and at the earliest opportunity, help seat children under the age of 14 near to their parent, guardian or tutor. The proximity depends on the age of the child:

Airlines are also required to establish a policy for unaccompanied minors, and prohibit minors under the age of five from travelling without their parent or an accompanying person who is at least 16 years old.

Enforcement

Airlines are required to follow the obligations set out in the regulations as soon as they come into force and could be subject to administrative monetary penalties of up to $25,000 per incident for non-compliance. In the event of an air travel-related dispute that cannot be resolved directly by a passenger and an airline, the passenger can make a complaint to the CTA.

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Latest border and travel measures

This news release may not reflect the current border and travel measures. Check COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders for the latest requirements to enter Canada.

Important notice

Note that information and resources on the coronavirus (COVID-19) are available on Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Adjustments to Canada’s border and travel measures

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada will adjust some of Canada’s border measures beginning on Nov. 30 to include additional COVID-19 vaccines accepted for entry to Canada and changes to certain exemptions, testing and ArriveCAN requirements.

November 19, 2021

Today, the Government of Canada announced upcoming adjustments to Canada’s border measures. This backgrounder provides additional context to support travellers in understanding COVID-19 testing and vaccine requirements, as well as other border measures, which are an important part of Canada’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and serve to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.

Eliminating COVID-19 testing for air and land crossings of less than 72 hours

Effective November 30, 2021, fully vaccinated individuals with right of entry to Canada, who depart and re-enter the country within 72 hours of leaving Canada are exempt from providing a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result . This exemption is only for trips originating in Canada taken by fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents or individuals registered under the Indian Act , who depart and re-enter by land or by air and can demonstrate they have been away from Canada for less than 72 hours.

The exemption will also apply to:

  • people with medical contraindications as defined in the Orders in Council (OIC); and
  • unvaccinated children under 12 who are accompanying their parent, step-parent, guardian or tutor. The accompanying adult must be fully vaccinated (or have a contraindication) and have right of entry into Canada.

For fully vaccinated travellers with right of entry into Canada who are travelling by air, the 72-hour period runs from the initially scheduled departure time for their flight leaving Canada to the scheduled departure time for their return flight to Canada. Travellers will be responsible for maintaining proof of the 72-hour period to show airline/rail companies and border officials as required (e.g., boarding pass, travel itinerary).

Expanded list of accepted vaccines for the purpose of travel

Effective November 30, 2021, the Government of Canada will expand its list of accepted vaccines for the purposes of entry into Canada and exemption from some testing and quarantine requirements. The list will include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, matching the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL).

The EUL is an internationally recognized process to assess vaccines within an existing regulatory structure. The WHO uses the EUL to accelerate the availability of medical products needed in public health emergency situations. The process is based on an expert review of available data on the quality, safety, and efficacy/immunogenicity/performance of each individual product. The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) also leverages the WHO EUL for its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio.

To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine—or combination of vaccines— accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country, and must upload their proof of vaccination in English or French into ArriveCAN when travelling to Canada. If the proof of vaccination is not in English or French, travellers must provide a certified translation in English or French. Travellers must bring proof with them when they travel that includes text with the vaccinations and dates received. Travellers must also comply with all other measures under the OICs, including pre-entry testing (unless exempt) and a suitable quarantine plan. Where available, Canadians are strongly encouraged to use the Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination .

The expanded list of COVID-19 vaccines and the definition of what is considered fully vaccinated will also be applied to the national vaccination requirements for the federally regulated transportation sectors.

Entry Requirements: Adjustments for certain travellers entering Canada

As of January 15, 2022, certain groups of travellers, who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada. These groups include:

  • Individuals travelling to reunite with family (unless they are under 18 years of age if travelling to reunite with an immediate or extended family member who is either fully vaccinated or a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person registered under the Indian Act. )
  • Fully vaccinated students will be allowed to attend any provincially or territorially designated learning institution in Canada.
  • Unvaccinated students under the age of 18 must attend a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory where the school is located.
  • Professional athletes and their support staff, and amateur athletes.
  • Individuals with a valid work permit, including temporary foreign workers, outside of agricultural and food processing.
  • Most essential service providers (including truck drivers, emergency service providers and marine researchers).

As of November 30, 2021, travellers need to be fully vaccinated to travel within Canada with very few exceptions. There is a limited period, until January 14, 2022, during which individuals in specified exempt groups can continue to enter the country if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, as well as take a connecting flight to their final destination that is scheduled to depart within 24 hours of the departure time of their flight to enter Canada. However, if they remain unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, they will not be allowed to take a plane or train beyond their original connection, except to depart Canada before February 28, 2022. As such, all travellers are strongly advised to make plans to get vaccinated as soon as they can, in order to travel freely in and outside the country.

On January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers will only be allowed to enter Canada if they meet one of the limited exceptions, including:

  • agricultural and food processing workers;
  • foreign marine crew members;
  • those entering on compassionate grounds;
  • new permanent residents;
  • newly resettled refugees;
  • children under the age of 18 who are currently exempt from the travel restrictions, including international students who are studying at a designated learning institution that has a COVID-19 readiness plan; those travelling with a parent, step-parent, tutor or guardian who is either fully vaccinated, or a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or person registered under the Indian Act ; and those travelling to reunite with immediate or extended Canadian family members in Canada; and
  • national interest exemptions.

Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who are travelling with fully vaccinated adults do not need to quarantine BUT must follow public measures:

  • Attend school, camp or day care.
  • Attend a setting where they may have contact with vulnerable people (e.g., long term care facility), including people who are immunocompromised, regardless of that person’s vaccination status or public health measures.
  • Travel on crowded public transportation that does not ensure physical distancing and masking.
  • Attend large crowded settings, indoors or outdoors, such as an amusement park or sporting event.
  • In addition, the child must take COVID-19 molecular tests as instructed, unless their parent, step-parent, tutor or guardian has evidence that the child had a positive COVID-19 test taken 10 to 180 days prior to arrival in Canada or the child is under 5 years of age.

Unless exempt, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers eligible to enter Canada will be required to:

  • have proof of a negative molecular pre-entry test taken no more than 72 hours before their flight’s initial scheduled departure time or arrival at the land border, or a previous positive COVID-19 molecular test taken within 10 and 180 days before arrival;
  • complete arrival (day 1) and post-arrival (day 8) testing;
  • quarantine for 14 days in a suitable place; and
  • submit all of the information above in ArriveCAN via the free mobile app or website.

ArriveCAN: New requirements for essential travellers

As of November 30, 2021, all exempt essential service providers will be required to identify their vaccination status in ArriveCAN , regardless of whether or not they are allowed to enter as unvaccinated. ArriveCAN will prompt them to provide details on their vaccine(s), including manufacturer, country received and date received, and to upload their proof of vaccination.

Exempt essential travellers include those travelling as/for:

  • most essential service providers (including most temporary foreign workers, emergency service providers and marine researchers);
  • cross-border work (e.g., you regularly cross the border to work);
  • medical and health care support (e.g., health care practitioner, to receive medical care, or to transport medical equipment or supplies);
  • trade and transport (e.g., truck driver or crew member on any aircraft, shipping vessel, or train); and
  • people who live in integrated trans-border communities.

If an exempt essential traveller previously created a reusable ArriveCAN receipt, they will be required to either download the latest version of the free ArriveCAN mobile app or sign in to the web version after November 30, 2021, and re-submit all of their information, including the newly required information on proof of vaccinations, to get a new exempt reusable ArriveCAN receipt. Once an exempt traveller creates a new reusable receipt, the receipt can be used for subsequent trips.

Until January 15, 2022, if an exempt essential traveller is not vaccinated, they will still be able to get an ArriveCAN receipt. After January 15, 2022, they must be fully vaccinated to get an ArriveCAN receipt. As of this date, most travellers who are currently exempt from quarantine will need to be fully vaccinated to enter Canada. They will also be required to upload their proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN.

Mandatory vaccination for federally regulated transportation sectors

As announced on August 13, 2021 , travellers in the federally regulated air and rail sectors will need to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine accepted by the Government of Canada for the purpose of travel. After extensive consultations, Transport Canada issued orders and guidance to airlines and railways to implement the vaccination requirements for travellers, which came into effect at 3 AM (EDT) October 30, 2021.

The vaccination requirements apply to all travellers, 12 years of age plus four months, who are:

  • Air passengers flying on domestic, trans-border or international flights departing from most airports in Canada; and
  • Rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.

As of November 30, 2021, a valid COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination for travel within Canada. To take a flight or a train, travellers must be fully vaccinated with one of the expanded list of vaccinations unless they qualify for a limited exemption to this requirement. These include:

  • Medical inability to be vaccinated;
  • Essential or urgent medical services and treatment;
  • Sincere religious beliefs;
  • Emergency travel; and
  • Other travel in the national interest.

For domestic and outbound travel, airlines and railways will administer the process for considering a traveller’s medical inability to be vaccinated, essential medical services and treatment, sincere religious beliefs, and emergency/urgent travel (including for urgent medical reasons). Travellers who think they may be eligible for one of these exemptions should contact their airline or railway company to obtain the necessary form and submit it in accordance with their carrier’s approval process (forms available starting November 30, 2021).

Transport Canada will administer exemptions for other domestic and outbound travel in the national interest. Travellers granted an exemption will need to have a valid COVID-19 molecular test, taken no more than 72 hours before boarding a regulated flight or train. Travellers will be able to submit applications under the domestic National Interest Exemption Program starting November 30.

Airlines and railways will continue to 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.

This vaccination requirement continues to include specific accommodation to recognize the unique needs of travellers from small, remote communities (some of which are not accessible by road) to ensure they will be able to travel to obtain essential services in support of their medical, health, or social well-being, and return safely to their homes. The specific requirements for these communities will continue to evolve based on engagement with Indigenous organizations and provinces and territories in the coming weeks.

Transport Canada continues to work with the cruise ship industry, and other domestic and international partners, to permit the safe re-opening of Canada to cruise ship travel in spring 2022, including the specific vaccination requirements for cruise ship passengers, and other health protocols. Additional information will be available in the coming weeks.

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.

For travellers entering Canada: While Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and persons registered under the Indian Act will still be able to enter Canada if they are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, they will not be permitted to travel beyond their point of entry within Canada on a connecting flight or by rail. These travellers should plan their return accordingly by selecting a Canadian airport that is closest to their final destination, and expect to be subject to testing and quarantine.

After January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated agricultural and agri-food workers, new permanent residents, and some children under the age of 18 will still be allowed to travel onward domestically to get established in Canada, but will also continue to be subject to testing and quarantine. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated resettled refugees will continue to be allowed to enter Canada and stringent health and safety protocols remain in place.

Foreign nationals who reside in Canada temporarily, and who entered Canada as unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, will be allowed to leave the country without being fully vaccinated up until February 28, 2022. After that time, foreign nationals will need to be fully vaccinated to board a flight or train in Canada.

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Entering Canada

On this page, by private boat, required identification, permanent residents, travelling with children, you and the border services officer.

Whether you’re returning home or visiting, you’ll follow the same 3 steps to enter Canada:

Step 1. Pre-arrival: Use Advance Declaration or complete a Declaration Card

If you’re arriving by air at one of Canada’s participating international airports, you can save time at the border. Submit your customs and immigration declaration online using Advance Declaration up to 72 hours before you arrive in Canada.

If you choose not to submit your declaration in advance, you can complete it at an airport kiosk or eGate. If you’re landing at an airport without kiosks or eGates, you’ll receive a Declaration Card on board the aircraft or other conveyance. Read the instructions and complete the card before you arrive. Have it ready to present to Canadian officials at the airport, along with your identification and other travel documents. If you're travelling with children, please have their documentation ready as well.

If using a Declaration Card, detach and discard the instructions. To help us serve you faster, do not fold the card.

Everyone arriving in Canada must complete a declaration. You can list up to 4 people living at the same residence on one card, or 8 people per Advance Declaration submission.

The Declaration Card or Advance Declaration submission tells us what we need to know about you, your travels and what you’re bringing into the country.

Connecting to another flight

If you’re connecting to another flight or travelling on to another destination and re-boarding the same plane, follow the signs. At some airports, you may have to check your baggage and have it screened again.

If you travel frequently our trusted traveller programs can help

If you're a member of a trusted traveller program, you can skip Step 2 and go directly to the automated kiosks or eGates for faster processing.

Step 2. Arrival: First CBSA checkpoint

When you arrive at the terminal, follow the signs to the first Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) checkpoint, also called “primary inspection.”

If you used Advance Declaration, go to a kiosk or eGate to retrieve your confirmed declaration receipt. Up to 5 people may use a kiosk as a group upon arrival.

Next, a border services officer will examine your:

  • Declaration Card or Advance Declaration kiosk receipt
  • your identification
  • other travel documents

The officer may ask you a series of questions to determine:

  • your immigration status
  • the type of any goods you're bringing with you
  • your duty-free allowance
  • your personal exemption entitlements

Goods not properly declared that are restricted or prohibited in Canada can, under the law, be seized.

Newcomer or coming to Canada to study or work

If you’re a newcomer to Canada, coming to study or work in Canada, you may need to present further documentation. The officer will help guide you through this process. You may ask the officer for help if you don’t speak English or French well.

Step 3. Baggage and second CBSA checkpoint

Go to the baggage claim area. If you must pay duty and taxes, you can pay at most major airports while waiting for your luggage.

Once you’ve picked up your luggage:

  • go to the next CBSA checkpoint
  • Declaration Card, Advance Declaration kiosk or eGate receipt
  • receipt, if you paid duty and taxes for your goods

The officer may direct you to a secondary inspection area.

Here, officers may ask you:

  • for detailed information about your travels
  • to present your luggage and goods for examination

This is a normal part of the travelling process. Your cooperation is appreciated and helps us ensure the safety of Canada, its economy and its residents.

If you’re arriving by land, follow the signs to the first checkpoint, also called “primary inspection.” Here, a border services officer will examine your identification and other travel documents and take your verbal declaration.

Visit U.S. to Canada border wait times for estimated wait times at certain locations.

If you’re arriving by private boat, go directly to a designated marine telephone reporting site and call the CBSA Telephone Reporting Centre (TRC) at 1-888-226-7277 to obtain clearance.

Private boaters that meet certain conditions may report to the CBSA by calling the TRC using cell phone from their location in Canadian waters.

Learn more about reporting requirements for private boaters.

Make sure you carry proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you to help confirm your legal right to enter Canada. Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for certain international travellers who fly to Canada.

Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

The Government of Canada recommends that Canadian citizens travel with a valid Canadian passport because it’s the only reliable and universally accepted travel and identification document available to Canadians for the purpose of international travel.

International transportation companies such as airlines may require travellers to present a passport before boarding. Canadian citizens may face delays or may not be allowed to board the plane or other conveyance if they present other documents such as a:

  • Enhanced Driver's License (EDL)/Enhanced Identification Card (EIC)
  • NEXUS card (used where the program is available)
  • Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card used in FAST lanes
  • Canadian citizenship card
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Birth certificate in combination with either a driver's licence or a government-issued photo identification

Permanent residents (immigrants living in Canada who are not yet Canadian citizens) need a valid permanent resident card to return to Canada. Check the expiry date on your card.

Note that a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship is not a travel document.

See Canadian Citizenship for further details.

Parents who share custody of their children should bring copies of the legal custody documents to the border when travelling with their children.

A consent letter should be used for all cross-border travel when a child is travelling:

  • with only 1 parent or guardian
  • in the care of friends or relatives
  • with a group, such as a sports, school, musical or religious group

Example of a consent letter to permit travel by a child with a single custodian or parent.

When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should arrive at the border in the same vehicle as the children.

Adults who aren’t parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. The consent letter should include addresses and telephone numbers where the parents or guardian can be reached.

Border officers watch for missing children, and may ask detailed questions about the children who are travelling with you.

You may occasionally find yourself going through a more detailed inspection. In some cases, this simply means that you may have to complete a form. In other cases, the border services officer will need to identify the goods you’re bringing into the country or examine your luggage.

Border services officers are legally entitled to examine your luggage as part of their responsibility to protect Canada's safety, economy and environment. You are responsible for opening, unpacking and repacking your luggage.

By making your goods easily accessible for inspection and having your receipts handy, you will be helping the CBSA to help you. It’s a good idea to keep all your receipts for accommodation and purchases, and for any repairs done to, or parts bought for, your vehicle. The border services officer may ask to see them as evidence of the length of your stay and of the value of the goods or repairs.

If you disagree with the amount of duty and taxes that you have to pay, please ask to speak with the CBSA superintendent on duty. A consultation can often resolve the issue quickly and without cost. If you’re still not satisfied, our officers can tell you how to make a formal appeal.

Border services officers may arrest an individual for an offence under the Criminal Code (for example, impaired driving, outstanding arrest warrants, stolen property, abductions/kidnappings) and for infractions under other acts of Parliament (for example, the Customs Act , the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act ).

If you’re arrested, you may be compelled to attend court in Canada. You should note that anyone arrested in Canada is protected by and will be treated in accordance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms .

Related links

  • Bringing goods to Canada
  • Traveller entry requirements
  • Travel documents
  • Programs for trusted travellers
  • Travelling as a dual citizen

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Get travel ready

Get Travel Ready hub is your source to prepare for your trip. Discover what you need to know before you go, with tips for what to expect in the airport, in the air, in destination and more.

air travel requirements within canada

Prepare for your journey

  • Prepare for takeoff 
  • Baggage information
  • Changes and cancellations
  • Your health and safety 
  • Insurance information

Check your itinerary

Destination requirements

Travel requirements vary, depending on your origin and destination, as well as your vaccination status and what passport you hold. Use the tool below to determine the travel requirements for your itinerary. We recommend reviewing this before you book your trip, and prior to travelling.

Disclaimer: The travel requirements information provided here does not replace specific information provided by official government sources. See additional terms and conditions 1 .

Destination requirement tips

  • Requirements and travel restrictions vary depending on the type of passport you hold, and whether you're vaccinated or not.
  • Some exemptions are based on criteria such as age or marital status. 
  • Some destinations will require you to complete a set of documents before you arrive. 
  • Review location-specific or event-specific advisories on our  Travel Advisories page .
  • When travelling to a destination where a visa is required for your passport, ensure that the visa is valid ahead of boarding your flight.

For travellers returning to Canada:

  • The use of ArriveCAN is optional and can be used to answer customs and immigration questions before your flight lands in Canada.

ID requirements

  • Guests of all ages require identification that matches the name and spelling on their ticket. You're responsible for making sure that you, and any child travelling with you, have the proper identification and travel documentation required to enter or connect through each country on your itinerary.  Visit our Identification requirements page to learn more . 

Be travel ready

Prepare for takeoff

air travel requirements within canada

We’re excited to connect you to the people and places you love. We’ve compiled some helpful travel tips to ensure your next journey with us is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. We look forward to seeing you onboard soon.

Man walking along the airport with luggage

Before you leave home

As you get ready for your flight, here are a few things you can do to prepare at home to get travel ready.

  • You can  check-in  to your flight up to 24 hours before departure. 
  • Once you’ve checked into your flight, you’ll automatically be enrolled to receive text message notifications  for gate changes, flight delays, or flight cancellations 
  • Check your passport or Government-issued ID to make sure it’s not expired, and meets  current ID requirements .
  • Check out flight guide to view the inflight experience and aircraft details available on your itinerary. 
  • Review any baggage allowances and fees that may apply to your itinerary. 
  • Pre-pay and save. Guests are encouraged to prepay for up to two checked bags on WestJet operated and marketed flights when you book online or any time before your flight through  Manage Trips . 
  • You can  pre-reserve the seat of your choice  to ensure comfort during your journey.  
  • Check your pre-departure emails for important information and updates.
  • Download the  WestJet app .
  • Review any  baggage allowances  and  fees  that may apply to your itinerary. 
  • Double check the  destination requirements  for each stop on your itinerary. 
  • Check security wait times at your departing airport  and plan your arrival time accordingly, since lines may be longer than usual.  
  • Check out flight guide to view the inflight experience and aircraft details available on your itinerary.  
  • Some WestJet marketed and operated flights don’t support WestJet Connect – our inflight entertainment system, so make sure to download podcasts, movies, or shows on your devices in case you’re on one of these flights. 
  • Thinking of travelling with a pet? Find all the information you need on our travelling with pets page. 
  • Travelling with warm clothing items and outerwear is permitted but a must in Canada, and we ask that you wait until all carry-on baggage is stowed before putting your coat in the overhead bin.

Before your vacation

  • Visit your hotel’s website to learn about their health and safety protocols, operational guidelines, and facility availability.

At the airport

Start your trip earlier to ensure you make it through airport security on time. For all WestJet departures, we suggest you arrive at the airport 120 minutes before departure if you are traveling within Canada and 150 minutes for international travel.

While there may be some changes at the airport, one thing hasn’t changed, our WestJetters will be there to assist you.

  • Arrive at the airport earlier than usual. 
  • Use the  WestJet app  for added convenience and to reduce touchpoints on your journey. 
  • Check-in, get your electronic boarding pass and enjoy  WestJet Connect  – our inflight entertainment system.
  • Make sure your devices are charged before you board.

During your flight

Window or aisle? Movie or Podcast? Here are some things to help you enjoy your flight.

  • We're excited to partner with Calm so you can focus on your wellbeing while inflight.   Explore a collection  of meditations, relaxation exercises and Sleep Stories, now available on WestJet Connect. Please note: WestJet Connect is not available on DE HAVILLAND DASH 8 (WestJet Encore), WestJet Link, and All economy aircraft 737-800 7S8.
  • Our  inflight menus can be viewed online prior to your flight, and through the  WestJet app . Depending on your flight, the snack or meal options might be different.

Weather conditions

Winter in Canada can be unpredictable, it might be sunny where you are, and that aircraft that is arriving to greet you could be stuck in winter conditions. You can check your flight status and any travel advisories before you fly.

Please pack your patience, WestJetters are working hard to get you on your way (with a little support from Mother Nature).

Flight notifications and self-serve options

We’ve launched a new text message feature.  Once you’ve checked into your flight, you’ll automatically be enrolled to receive text message notifications  for gate changes, flight delays, or flight cancellations.  You can also download the WestJet app to stay informed.

We’ve enhanced our self-serve options, you can use Manage Trips to:   

  •  add or change seats  
  •  add a bag   
  •  update your phone number and email address   
  •  change or cancel your flights   
  •  manage your itinerary during a flight disruption. 

air travel requirements within canada

Baggage Information

Review information on our baggage guidelines such as size and weight allowances, and baggage fees to help you pack and plan according to your needs. 

How to pack your carry-on luggage

  • Make sure your carry-on conforms to our size and weight allowances .
  • Keep your toiletries/liquids together in a clear plastic bag, so they're easy to take out when going through security. 
  • Only bring liquids, aerosols and gels that are packaged in containers with a capacity of 100 ml / 100 grams or less.
  • All of your prescription medicine should be in your carry-on, and if you're travelling out of country it should be in original pill bottles. 
  • Pack an empty water bottle to fill up at the airport on the other side of security.
  • Pack travel-size high protein snacks like trail mix and protein bars while travelling for long hours or in case of delays. 
  • Put earrings in the holes of spare buttons. Pairs will stay together and they also won’t get as tangled.
  • Use packing cubes and organize clothes into categories such as daytime, evening, dirty. 
  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them, to take up less room. 
  • View additional carry-on packing tips from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

What to do if your checked bag is lost

We understand lost baggage makes travel frustrating and stressful. We will do everything we can to find your bag and return it to you as quickly as possible. If you find yourself in this situation, please follow these steps:

  • Notify a WestJet Customer Service Agent at the airport or  create a baggage report .
  • Once your report has been created, you can  check the status.
  • Your report will be updated when the bag is received at the destination airport, and when it is out for delivery. Email notifications with this information may also be sent as well. Make sure to check junk/spam emails. 
  • Should you incur out-of-pocket expenses for a delayed or damaged baggage incident within our control, you may submit a request to WestJet for reimbursement .

When plans change

Changes, insurance and refunds

Fares with flexibility.

We understand travel plans can change. For your peace of mind we have a variety of fare options, some with flexibility included, so you can select the fare that is best for you. Fare options , along with comprehensive travel insurance plans and our change/cancel policies are another way we're putting your Safety Above All.

air travel requirements within canada

Protect your travel plans when you book vacation packages or land-only bookings to destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States.

For travel affected by a travel advisory

Sometimes a travel advisory in a destination will interrupt your travel plans. Guest-impacting events like extreme weather, airport closures, and disease outbreaks can happen. While the travel advisory is in effect, we apply our change/cancel guidelines until it's lifted, and normal operations resume.

If there’s a current travel advisory for your destination on your trip dates, you have options. WestJet will waive the applicable change or cancellation fee, and you have the option to:

  • Change your travel dates to and/or from the same destination. If there’s a difference in fares, you won’t be charged. Blackout dates may apply.
  • Change your destination with or without changing your travel dates. If you’re going to a close airport like Vancouver (YVR) instead of Abbotsford (YXX), you won’t be charged for any fare difference.
  • If you choose to go to an airport that isn’t geographically close, you’ll pay the fare difference.
  • If the new fare is less, the refund guidelines for fare types apply.
  • Cancel your trip. You’ll get a refund according to the guidelines for the original fare bundle.

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Travel with confidence in Canada and around the world with insurance solutions administered by Allianz Global Assistance. Protect your wellbeing and finances with benefits to cover costs related to emergency medical care and the cancellation or interruption of your trip.

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Refunds eligibility 

You're eligible for a refund to the original form of payment if your flight is cancelled, or if you're otherwise delayed by more than 3 hours in relation to your original departure or arrival time, or if we add a connection to your itinerary.

If your reservation was part of Air Group booking or a WestJet Vacations group booking, please contact your travel agent or your group specialist to submit a request for a refund.

If you booked through a Travel Agent (online or directly), third-party like Expedia or Airmiles, Corporate Travel arranger, or another airline, please contact them directly.

Guests looking to discuss a refund due to other circumstances are required to  contact us .

Our top priority

Your health and safety

If you’re travelling with health concerns, we have all the information that you need before you take off.

air travel requirements within canada

Information about COVID-19

We’re following the rules and regulations set out by the Canadian government regarding COVID-19. Although it’s not mandatory to wear a mask, you’re welcome to wear one in the airport and during your flight. 

Government of Canada official information

  • COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders
  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Awareness resources

Aircraft cleaning and sanitization

We clean our aircraft extensively and frequently. We continue to clean with aviation-approved products. All WestJet aircraft are equipped with an industry-leading air circulation system containing a HEPA filter, similar to what’s used in hospitals. 

Travel help and resources

1 We recognize that rules around travel are changing on an almost daily basis. The information on this page is a guide to help you navigate some of the requirements for your trip. WestJet has engaged Sherpa to assist with bringing this information to you ( see Sherpa's terms here ). Although we endeavour to update the site as quickly and as correctly as we can, due to fast-changing government mandates and restrictions which may be affected by numerous factors (for example, point of origin, age, final destination, purpose or duration of travel, state of vaccination), as well as due to interpretation of these mandates and restrictions by the applicable local government officials, you should confirm with the government of each country on your itinerary for detailed, up-to-date information on health, passport, visa, and other entry requirements applicable to you prior to travel.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all entry requirements and have all the valid travel documents necessary to enter in, exit from or transit through, each country/region on your itinerary, regardless of if the flight is operated by WestJet or another carrier. The final determination of entry in or transit through is the decision of the government and officials of the country to which you are travelling.

 WestJet, including its employees and agents, are not responsible or liable in any way for any claim, loss, damage, cost, expense or liability whatsoever that may result from your access to, or reliance on, information provided on this site.

International travelers to the US will be able to skip proof of COVID vaccine, WH says

air travel requirements within canada

The Biden administration will lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for inbound international air travelers on Friday.

"As we continue to monitor the evolving state of COVID-19 and the emergence of virus variants, we have the tools to detect and respond to the potential emergence of a variant of high consequence," President Joe Biden said in a proclamation Tuesday. "Considering the progress that we have made, and based on the latest guidance from our public health experts, I have determined that we no longer need the international air travel restrictions that I imposed in October 2021."

Biden announced the change last week , along with the end of vaccine requirements for federal employees and contractors, foreign nationals at the land border and others. The requirement for air travelers will lift at midnight Thursday as the coronavirus public health emergency ends. Biden previously  signed a bill ending the COVID national emergency  in April.

So, what does that mean for travelers? Here's what we know.

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Is there still a vaccine requirement for international travelers coming to the US?

Not as of later this week.

Currently, all "non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrants traveling to the United States by air" must show proof of vaccination with limited exceptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's  website .

Industry group the U.S. Travel Association, which had called on the Biden administration to  end the vaccine requirement  for inbound international visitors and argued the rule was an impediment to tourism, applauded the change when it was announced last week.

“Today’s action to lift the vaccine requirement eases a significant entry barrier for many global travelers, moving our industry and country forward," Geoff Freeman, the organization's President and CEO, said in a statement last week. He also called on the federal government to "ensure U.S. airports and other ports of entry are appropriately staffed with Customs and Border Protection officers to meet the growing demand for entry."

The U.S.  lifted a requirement  that air travelers coming from China show proof of a negative COVID test in March. The policy took effect in January amid a surge of cases in China.

The U.S.  dropped its COVID testing rule  for international flyers in June.

Do travelers need a vaccine to cross the Mexico or Canada borders to the US?

The Department of Homeland Security also said in a news release that it will no longer require non-U.S. travelers coming into the country by land or at ferry terminals to be fully vaccinated or show proof of their vaccination status.

Do US travelers need to be vaccinated against COVID to travel internationally?

That depends. Many destinations have dropped their vaccination and testing requirements for travel, though some still have rules in place. The Philippines, for example, still requires travelers to be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID test in order to visit, according to the  U.S. Embassy in the Philippines .

AI, self-service are taking over travel: Will everything become a DIY experience?

The CDC also recommends travelers be up to date on their COVID vaccinations before leaving the country. The agency defines up to date as having one updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for people age 6 and up, which "protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5," according to its  website .

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at [email protected].

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    Government of Canada's official one-stop-shop for comprehensive international travel information. ... Pre-boarding identification requirements. ... File an air travel complaint; Terrestrial animal health - exports . Features. Dual Canadian citizens: Fly to Canada with a valid Canadian passport ...

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    Read important information about ID requirements when travelling by plane, as well as passport and visa requirements for your next trip abroad. Customs & Immigration We've provided a few links you may find helpful if you're looking for customs and immigration information before you travel.

  4. COVID-19 measures, updates, and guidance issued by Transport Canada

    Updates to transportation related measures taken by Transport Canada in response to the evolving novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). For travel advice and all other updates, please visit Canada.ca/coronavirus. Wearing masks for travel within Canada is not required. Although the masking requirement is being lifted, all travellers are strongly ...

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    Travelling to Canada. Anyone currently allowed to enter Canada can skip the 14-day quarantine if they meet the country's requirements for being fully vaccinated. That means two doses of either the ...

  6. New pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirements come into effect for

    January 6, 2021 Ottawa Government of Canada. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis that is having a significant impact on the air industry and all travellers. The Government of Canada has multiple measures in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and to help prevent air travel from being a source of further introduction and spread of COVID-19 and new variants of the ...

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    As with other provinces and territories, travellers in British Columbia must follow federal requirements for travel within Canada. That means proof of vaccination is required for those ages 12 and ...

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    The regulations provide for clearer and more consistent air passenger rights by imposing certain minimum airline requirements in air travel - including standards of treatment and, in some situations, compensation for passengers. ... To provide better protection to passengers travelling within Canada, the airlines will be held liable for up to ...

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    2021-02-12. The Government of Canada is announcing today further testing and quarantine requirements for international travellers arriving to Canada's air and land ports of entry. These new measures will help prevent variants of concern from reaccelerating the pandemic and making it more difficult to contain.

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    passport issued by the country of which the passenger is a citizen or a national. NEXUS card. permanent resident card issued by the United States. enhanced driver's license issued in the United States. any document referred to in subsection 50 (1) or 52 (1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

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    Answer all eligibility and health screening questions. You will be Use ArriveCAN or contacted by call 1-833-641-0343 Government of to check-in the day Canada and after you enter provincial Canada and to report /territorial symptoms daily. officials. *Note: Day 10 testing differs for some travellers to Alberta.

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    Requirements for travelling within Canada: If you're 12 or older, you'll need to be fully vaccinated in order to board domestic flights, VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, and cruise ships.

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    The Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination offers multiple benefits and uses, which includes meeting Canada's new traveller vaccine requirements. Effective October 30, 2021, all travellers 12 years of age and older departing from Canadian airports, and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will be required to be fully ...

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    Air passengers flying on domestic, trans-border or international flights departing from most airports in Canada; and; Rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains. As of November 30, 2021, a valid COVID-19 test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination for travel within Canada.

  15. Changes to COVID-19 travel requirements

    Effective October 1, 2022, Transport Canada has announced the following changes to existing travel requirements: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements have been lifted All travellers arriving in Canada will no longer need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Canada or meet COVID-19 testing, quarantine or isolation requirements. Other ...

  16. Air Canada

    A valid passport is required for travel to, from and via most countries, including for return travel to Canada. If you do not have a valid passport, we strongly recommend that you apply for one well in advance of travel. Some countries require that your passport be valid for three or six months beyond your date of return.

  17. COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders

    For all travellers entering Canada by air, land or marine mode: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not required; Pre-board testing is not required; COVID-19 pre-entry and arrival tests are not required; Quarantine after you enter Canada is not required; Using ArriveCAN is not required, but. to save time at the border, you can use the ArriveCAN customs and immigration feature to complete your ...

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    Step 1. Pre-arrival: Use Advance Declaration or complete a Declaration Card. If you're arriving by air at one of Canada's participating international airports, you can save time at the border. Submit your customs and immigration declaration online using Advance Declaration up to 72 hours before you arrive in Canada.

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