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Coronavirus: Unvaccinated travelers banned from flights and trains from today

OTTAWA – Unvaccinated travelers over the age of 12 will not be able to board a plane or train in Canada as of today, and a negative COVID-19 test will no longer be a substitute for most people.

The policy goes into effect on October 30, but the federal government allows a short transition period for unvaccinated travelers to be able to board as long as they provide molecular COVID-19 testing. negative made within 72 hours before their trip.

The new stringent requirement comes into effect as Canada responds to the emergence of a new, highly mutagenic variant of Omicron of COVID-19.

The discovery of the new variant prompted border closures and stricter testing in Canada and abroad over concerns that it could prove more contagious.

According to the World Health Organization, the risks associated with the Omicron variant are very high, but there are still a lot of public health officials and scientists who don’t know about it.

Although anyone arriving in Canada or boarding a plane or train within the country is required to be vaccinated, there are currently no quarantine measures in place except for those recently transiting through southern Africa.

While many airlines have so far implemented random spot checks to ensure travelers are vaccinated, Air Canada and West Jet have confirmed that they will require proof from everyone boarding. in Canada from today.

Other measures, such as masks and health checks, will still be mandatory.

“If you let your airline or rail company know that you are eligible to board, but do not provide proof of vaccinations or a valid COVID-19 test result, you will not be allowed to travel. travel and may face penalties or fines,” state government website.

The government has issued warnings on social media that even Canadians and permanent residents abroad will not be able to return home without a full range of approved vaccines.

There are some exceptions, including valid medical exemptions, travel to remote communities accessible only by plane, and people transiting through Canada en route to another destination.

Most people who qualify for the exemption will need a recent COVID-19 test.

The vaccine authorization was met with a positive response from Canada’s aviation industry when it was first announced in October, although some companies were worried about the necessary preparations in time. .

Since then, the federal government has released a standardized vaccination document that has been distributed by province and territory for domestic and international travel.

This Canadian Press report was first published on November 30, 2021.

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