Domestic airlines and rail companies will soon have the ability to deny boarding to anyone exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on March 28 that Transport Canada will be implementing new rules that give Canadian airlines and rail companies the ability to deny boarding to anyone displaying signs of COVID-19.
“People showing any signs of COVID-19 whatsoever will be denied boarding on all domestic flights and intercity passenger trains,” he said, later adding. “People should not be taking planes or trains if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 and right now we are providing new tools to our transportation companies to ensure that they do not travel.”
The new measures take effect on Monday, March 30, at noon and apply to flights or train trips within Canada.
Enforcement will be the responsibility of airlines and rail operators within Canada according to Trudeau, who said the government fully expects them to comply.
“It will be important for operators of airlines and trains to ensure that people who are exhibiting symptoms do no board those trains,” he said. “It will be a Transport Canada rule that will be enforced.”
Trudeau stressed that anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should be isolating themselves and only travelling if they need to visit a hospital.
“We need to continue to do what is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
VIA Rail said in a press release issued March 28 that their employees will be asking customers “simple health” questions and looking for “visible signs of illness” prior to boarding.
Passengers will not be allowed to board if they are experiencing symptoms similar to a cold or flu or if they have been denied travel in the last 14 days due to medical reasons related to the coronavirus.
“In the event, the passenger meets one of those criteria, VIA Rail will refuse boarding and travel for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19,” VIA Rail said in the release.