Unvaccinated people over the age of 12 won’t be able to board a plane or passenger train in Canada beginning today (Nov. 30), and a negative SARS-CoV-2 test will no longer serve as a substitute.
The policy came into effect on October 30, but the federal government allowed a short transition period for unvaccinated people who could board as long as they provided a negative molecular SARS-CoV-2 test taken within 72 hours before their trip.
The strict new rule comes into effect as Canadian government panics about the emergence of the Omicron variant.
While many airlines have so far been doing random spot checks to ensure travellers are vaccinated, Air Canada and West Jet have confirmed they will ask for proof from everyone boarding in Canada as of today.
Other measures, like masks and health screenings, will still be mandatory.
“If you indicate to your airline or railway company that you’re eligible to board, but fail to provide proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 test result, you won’t be allowed to travel and could face penalties or fines,” the government’s website states.
The rule does not apply to commuter trains.