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YVR welcomes removal of COVID-19 measures for air travel

Federal government announces end to all requirements including testing, masks, quarantine

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) welcomed today’s announcement by the federal government that it is lifting all remaining air travel pandemic measures as of October 1.

“After more than two years operating under a very complex series of changing regulations, today’s announcement is very welcome news for the travelling public, our community, and workers across the aviation sector,” said Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO at Vancouver Airport Authority. “The removal of COVID-19 travel measures will improve passengers’ overall travel experience, assist our frontline employees, and allow more people to reconnect with loved ones and tourism experiences across the province and country.”

In addition to ending testing and quarantine measures, the government will remove mandatory mask mandates at airports and during flights, and requirements for submitting vaccination data. Use of ArriveCAN will also no longer be mandatory, but remains recommended for submission of customs and immigration information.

Over the past several months YVR has navigated various operational challenges amid a surge in travel demand and post-pandemic labour shortages. From January compared to August, daily passenger volumes increased approximately 170 per cent, with domestic travel now surpassing pre-covid passenger numbers. 

While YVR has experienced some delays, congestion, and frustrated travellers, through the implementation of new technologies and continued collaboration with aviation and government partners, YVR has not experienced the level of operational disruption that has systemically impacted major airports worldwide through the summer.

Leveraging its long history of innovation, during the pandemic YVR accelerated digital applications to improve the traveller experience, including implementing a new digital twin platform to monitor operations and deploy resources and support in real time. The organization’s focus on climate change and its drive to become carbon zero by 2030 also continued unabated, with YVR in September becoming the first airport in Canada to successfully achieve Level 4+ Airport Carbon Accreditation. With staffing shortages affecting all sectors but in particular aviation, YVR re-doubled efforts to attract workers to the aviation sector, becoming a Living Wage Employer earlier this year.

“As pandemic policies are removed, demand for aviation will continue to strengthen. As will the role of YVR within B.C.’s critical supply chain infrastructure. It is imperative going forward that government and industry work collaboratively to drive further policy development and innovation to meet the needs of travellers, and that we support sustainable growth and aviation sector employees,” concluded Vrooman.  

More information about the changes to travel measures can be found here.

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