New Canadian travel restrictions come into effect Monday

Plane takeoff

New travel restrictions put in place by the federal government to protect against the spread of COVID-19 will officially come into effect Monday.

Starting at noon, anyone showing signs of illness will be barred from boarding domestic flights or taking rail trips.

The new measures will require all air and rail operators to conduct a health check of travellers before they board a flight within Canada or departing from Canada, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

This would include asking health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the traveller follow guidance from local health authorities.

Operators will be allowed to refuse boarding to any passengers that present COVID-19 symptoms. If denied boarding, the person will be barred from flying or boarding a train for 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19.

The measures will apply to aircraft with 10 seats or more. They will not apply to commuter trains.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the transportation industry, travellers, shippers and the economy. We recognize the importance of the continued movement of goods and the ongoing delivery of essential services in Canada’s response to COVID‑19, while taking necessary measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians,” said Marc Garneau, The Minister of Transport in a news release.

Government officials say they continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and are constantly determining what new measures may be required to contain the spread of the virus.