Travel Directives and Screening
The Government of Canada has issued a number of directives and called for enhanced screening measures in response to COVID-19 to limit its spread and provide support for Canadian travellers.
Known travel directives that are now in place include:
- All air passengers are required to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel. Travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose at airport screening points, when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by airline employees or public health officials. Please note that YVR is not able to provide any form of masks at the airport. It is the passenger’s responsibility to have the appropriate face covering. More information about the regulation, including exceptions where face coverings must not be worn, is available on the Transport Canada website.
- All air operators are required to conduct a health check of travellers before they board a flight within Canada or departing from Canada. Any traveller presenting symptoms of COVID-19 will be denied boarding for 14 days or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms symptoms are unrelated to COVID-19. Please contact the Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-833-784-4397 with any questions.
- YVR is one of four airports in Canada accepting international flights to ensure the continued transport of essential goods, to welcome home Canadians and to help non-Canadians return home. Other airports accepting international flights are Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Montreal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and Calgary International Airport (YYC).
- Canada has closed its borders to foreign nationals, with some exceptions such as air crews, diplomats and the immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Please contact Canada Border Service Agency at 1-833-784-4397 with any questions.
The Government has also strongly urged Canadians to heed the following recommendations that:
- All Canadians should avoid non-essential travel outside the country until further notice.
- All travellers should return to Canada via commercial means while they remain available.
- All Canadians returning to the country are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry, with exceptions for workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people; they also have to fill out a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) coronavirus form and are required to declare if they are experiencing symptoms.
- Flights that had passengers test positive for COVID-19 are listed on the Government of Canada website: Exposure on flights, cruise ships and at mass gatherings. Please check this page frequently if you have travelled recently.
At YVR, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Government of British Columbia have implemented a number of screening measures as follows:
- Airlines are mandated to prevent all travellers who present symptoms of COVID-19 to board a plane at point of origin, meaning anyone who has symptoms will not be able to board an aircraft.
- All incoming travellers, no matter their country of origin, will face increased screening from CBSA officers, checking for symptoms of COVID-19.
- All PIK and NEXUS kiosks require travellers to declare if they are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing or fever. They also will need to acknowledge that they are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they're arriving from any international location.
- Enhanced officer presence at major points of entry to carry out public health screening and public health outreach by observing arriving travellers and making sure they're aware of Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) guidelines. CBSA officers will approach any traveller displaying signs of illness for further questioning and will distribute PHAC pamphlets to raise more awareness about COVID-19.
- Instructional handouts will be given to all travellers arriving in Canada advising them to self-isolate at home for 14 days, monitor themselves for symptoms and to contact public health authorities if they develop symptoms.
- Travellers will be asked to fill out a PHAC coronavirus form, which will help health authorities monitor and track people who have been identified as a potential concern.
- Mask kits will be given to travellers "of concern," which includes a surgical mask and a one-page instruction on how to use the mask.
- Under a new measure from the Government of British Columbia, all arriving passengers from outside Canada, regardless of their final destination, are required to submit a self-isolation plan. Learn more about the Province's self-isolation plan requirement here. The plan can be submitted online here or at the Self-Assessment Tool, through the BC COVID-19 Support App, or in-person on arrival at YVR. It must show that returning passengers have supports in place to safely self-isolate for 14 days. Upon arrival at YVR, passengers will be supported as follows:
- Travellers with approved plans will proceed to their home residence (or another identified accommodation) to self-isolate.
- Travellers who submit plans that need additional support to execute safely (e.g., enlist volunteers to deliver groceries or fill prescriptions once at home) may be taken or directed to an accommodation site to begin self-isolation, while outstanding details of their plan are put in place. With an approved self-isolation plan, they may return home. Without an approved plan, they will remain at an accommodation site for 14 days.
- Travellers who do not have a self-isolation plan or are unable to safely carry one out may be transported or sent to an accommodation where they can safely complete their 14-day self-isolation.
Learn more about Canada's travel directives and screening measures here.
At YVR, the safety and security of our passengers, employees and all airport visitors is our top priority. We support all measures to protect public health and we will continue to work closely with the government and other public health agencies to support and implement any additional measures under their direction.