4 Things Pearson Airport Wants Travellers To Know Before Vaccine Mandates Lift Next Week

Travel rules change on June 20.

Toronto Associate Editor
Inside Toronto Pearson Airport.

Inside Toronto Pearson Airport.

Canada's travel rules are going to be changing soon, and here's what you need to know if you're flying out of Toronto Pearson Airport next week.

On Monday, June 20, as of 12:01 a.m., the proof of vaccination requirement for federally run planes and trains that travel across the country will be suspended. On top of that, the vaccine mandate will be lifted for flights that are heading out of Canada to international destinations.

Masking is still in place, however, and vaccine requirements will still be asked on board cruise ships. And, while they'll be gone through the summer, the vaccine mandates could be reintroduced back at the border in the fall if needed.

"The removal of vaccination requirements for domestic and outbound travel is a step in the right direction," Tori Gass, a spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, told Narcity via email, and mentioned that there have been some workers waiting "on the sidelines" due to this policy.

Gass shared some tips and other things for travellers to be mindful of when they fly out of Pearson once the rules change.

When to show up at the airport before your flights

The Toronto airport is still telling fliers to come to the airport at least two hours beforehand if they are hopping on a flight across the country, and three hours ahead if they are travelling abroad. Before this, fliers were asked to come to the airport an hour and a half before domestic flights.

Prior to the latest update to Canada's travel restrictions, Pearson expects 45,000 passengers will come through the airport each day this summer.

How to conquer security screening so it goes by quicker

Gass provided a lot of tips that could help make this part of your travel day feel like a breeze.

What it all boils down to is being as prepared as you can be before making it through security. This means having your boarding pass ready, wearing clothes that are easy to take off (with no metal parts), and having all of your liquids in a clear, resealable plastic bag.

"While in line, remove your outerwear, including coats and jackets," Gass said.

Gass also recommended making sure all of your electronics, from your cell phone to your laptop, can be easily removed from their case and be powered on. Plus, your laptop should be put in its own bin with nothing covering when you're organizing all of your belongings.

Fliers can also head over to Canadian Air Transport Security Authority's website to see what they can pack in their carry-ons, and what items should be tucked away in their checked suitcases.

Make sure to still use ArriveCAN when you come back

"All travellers arriving in Canada must continue to use ArriveCAN to submit mandatory travel and health information," Gass said

"To save time, passengers can use the Advanced CBSA Declaration feature within ArriveCAN online to fill in their customs and immigration declaration."

Travellers can fill this out up to 72 hours before their flight takes off, too.

Wait times have started to get "smoother"

Earlier this month, the Canadian government suspended its randomized COVID-19 testing at airports for vaccinated travellers, which will be in effect until June 30. Then, as of July 1, all testing will be conducted outside of airports.

This was part of the reason why Pearson said they were getting hit hard with longer wait times and delays.

"This past weekend was smoother than previous weeks, so it appears the removal of the random mandatory tests has made a difference," Gass said.

"CBSA was also well staffed which helped contribute to improved passenger flow."

So, fingers crossed that wait times will get better from here.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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
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