This might help you prep for a smooth takeoff. ✈️
With all of the major travel changes that are taking off within the next month, Narcity reached out to Pearson Airport to ask what its plans are, and what flyers can do to best prepare for travelling.
The first changes come into effect on October 30, when all travellers departing from Canadian airports will have to be fully vaccinated in order to travel. But the bulk of the rules are set to update in November, when fully vaccinated Canadians can travel to the U.S. for non-essential purposes, and when Canada's vaccine passport for international travel will officially be required.
What should Pearson travellers know before flying out?
"If they're flying domestically, they should arrive 90 minutes before their flight and for international travel, we recommend three hours," a spokesperson for Pearson Airport told Narcity in an email. Pearson has recommended arriving earlier for flights since the Government of Canada updated its travel rules to allow fully vaccinated travellers from all over the world to enter the country.
Several international destinations are also requiring tourists to provide their health documentation, proof of vaccination, and proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to continue on their journey.
Pearson Airport encourages passengers to check with their respective airlines on what documents they'll need in order to reach their destination, as it varies from country to country.
On the airport's website, you can input your travel deets to see what you'll need to do and carry with you before you fly.
Recently, Air Canada changed its check-in and baggage drop-off cutoff times at Pearson Airport. Passengers heading to the U.S. or an international destination must now drop off their baggage and check in at least 90 minutes before their flight.
What is Pearson doing to better travellers' flight experiences?
Pearson Airport says it is currently working with all of its airline partners, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) to help ease the wait times for departures.
"[Passengers] should expect additional health screening requirements which can add time to their travel experience," the spokesperson said.
What happens when Canada's vax pass for international travel comes into effect?
Starting November 30, anyone who plans to board any plane (or train, for that matter) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"All passengers 12 years and four months of age or older, will need to be fully vaccinated to board a domestic or international flight departing from an airport in Canada," the spokesperson told Narcity.
You'll need to show your government-issued vaccine passport for travel, and the timing of when Canadians can download their own varies depending on where you live. For Ontarians, QR codes are already standardized in the province.
Pearson Airport could not provide specifics on how vaccination requirements will work at their airport, however.
What happens when the U.S.-Canada border opens up to non-essential travel?
Starting November 8, fully vaccinated Canadians will be allowed to head south of the border to the U.S. for non-essential reasons like travel, tourism, and visiting loved ones.
Pearson Airport suggests that passengers travelling to the U.S. ensure they meet the country's entry requirements. According to the CDC, all travellers aged 2 or older travelling on or after November 8 (or later) will have to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or prove that they recovered from COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated travellers will have to get the test no more than three days before their flight.
How is Pearson Airport preparing for when all the new travel rules kick in?
Pearson Airport told Narcity that the CATSA will manage the validation of the vaccine requirements of travellers.
"We're helping to educate passengers by sharing information through our website and social media channels and also answering questions that come into our customer service team," the spokesperson added.
In Ontario, a vaccine passport is required to access some events, services and businesses, including restaurants and bars.
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