Here Are The Travel Rules Pearson Airport Has RN & Some Things Have Changed With Omicron

Everything you need to know from check-in to take-off.

Here Are The Travel Rules Toronto Pearson Has RN & Some Things Have Changed With Omicron
Toronto Associate Editor

A lot has changed with travel lately due to the Omicron variant, and Toronto Pearson Airport has some guidelines for passengers to follow if they're planning on taking off sometime soon.

"The travel experience has changed since pre-pandemic times, and Toronto Pearson has been advising passengers for some time that they may experience longer wait times on arrivals due to additional health checks," Senior Communications Advisor for the GTAA, Beverly MacDonald told Narcity via email.

At the moment, the federal government has asked all Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside of the country, but flying within the Great White North is still a go.

Here are some of the travel rules that Pearson Airport flyers can expect the next time they touch down or take off.

What has changed due to the Omicron variant?

Fully vaccinated international fliers coming into Canada could be randomly selected for mandatory COVID-19 testing, as per the federal government's travel requirements.

"You must quarantine in a suitable place until you receive a negative test result," Pearson Airport's Travel Hub reads and adds anyone who needs to quarantine will be able to take public transportation or their connecting flight to get there.

What can I expect if I'm departing from Pearson?

Anyone who is 12 years and four months or older will need to give proof that they are fully vaccinated in order to get onboard their flight.

According to the feds, all travellers right now must be fully vaccinated in order to board their flights, and failure to provide proof of vaccination could lead to some serious fines (plus, you won't be allowed to travel).

There are some exceptions, however, where unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers can hop on board, which include travel for an essential medical service, for example.

"Most travellers who qualify for an exemption will also need to have a valid COVID-19 molecular test, taken no more than 72 hours before boarding a flight or train," federal government officials say. A negative rapid antigen test won't be accepted, but, a PCR test will.

Anyone looking for a PCR or antigen test can get it at Toronto Pearson Airport before their flights at the Value Park Garage. A reminder, though, that PCR test results come back within 12 to 24 hours while antigen results get back between 30 to 60 minutes.

What about when I'm arriving?

At the moment, there are no requirements for domestic flyers coming into Ontario. But, if you start to feel like you have any COVID-19 symptoms after landing, you should follow local public health guidelines and ask for medical assistance if you need it.

The current COVID-19 isolation guidelines for Ontario ask fully vaccinated individuals to quarantine for five days from when they start to feel symptoms. Anyone who is immunocompromised will have to self-isolate for ten days.

International travellers landing at Toronto Pearson Airport should have the latest version of ArriveCAN on their phones and must show proof of their negative COVID-19 molecular test (that should be done at least 72 hours before their take-off.)

What if I'm just picking up or dropping off someone at Pearson?

According to Toronto Pearson, nobody is allowed to go into the terminals if you're picking up or dropping off someone for their flight. The only exceptions are if your loved one needs mobility assistance into the airport, or if you're going in with a minor who is travelling on their own.

Pearson Airport officials recommend waiting in one of their cell phone lots or parking at their short-term parkades if you're picking someone up from their flight. They also advise to keep in mind it could take up to two hours for international travellers to get through customs, and to plan for the extra time accordingly.

What are Pearson's current health measures?

Toronto Pearson is asking all of their passengers right now to mask up the whole time they're there. The only exceptions are if travellers are under two, if you're eating or drinking something at one of the airport's restaurants or lounges, or if you can provide an adequate medical exemption from wearing a mask.

Through Pearson's Healthy Airport program, the Toronto-based airport assures they are keeping employees and passengers safe by continuously cleaning, disinfecting high traffic areas, and logging all of the active COVID-19 cases in their workforce.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor