Pictured – Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
OTTAWA — Unvaccinated travellers over the age of 12 won’t be able to board a plane or train in Canada beginning today, and a negative COVID-19 test will no longer serve as a substitute for most people.
The policy came into effect on Oct. 30, but the federal government allowed a short transition period for unvaccinated travellers who could board as long as they provided a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before their trip.
The stringent new requirement comes into effect as Canada reacts to the emergence of the new, highly mutated Omicron variant of COVID-19.
The discovery of the new variant has prompted border closures and heavier screening in Canada and abroad over fears it could prove more transmissible.
The risk related to the Omicron variant is very high, according to the World Health Organization, but there is still a lot public health officials and scientists do not know about it.
While anyone coming into Canada or boarding a plane or train inside the country must be vaccinated, there are currently no quarantine measures in place except for people who have recently transited through southern Africa.
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.