COVID-19 travel updates
International travel and quarantine update
Recently, the Government of Canada announced new rules for international travel:
- Effective January 31, 2021 all flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries are suspended until April 30, 2021.
- Beginning February 21, 2021 at 8:59 p.m. PST, all air travellers arriving in Canada must reserve a room in a government-approved hotel for a minimum of three nights and take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival at their own cost. Learn more about the mandatory hotel stop over.
- If you are an international traveller arriving in B.C., you must arrive at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Visit YVR's website for more information about what to expect.
There are no international flights operating at YLW. If you are arriving in B.C. from an international destination, you will land at Vancouver International Airport. For more information on the travel restrictions and requirements, visit tc.canada.ca.
Travel directives and screening
At YLW, the safety and security of our passengers, employees and airport visitors is our priority. We support all measures to protect public health and we will continue to work closely with government and other public health agencies to support and implement any additional health and safety measures under their direction.
Ready to travel? For flight schedules, travel tips and what to expect the next time you fly, visit our Healthy Travel page.
Travel directives now in place include:
Masks are required
- All passengers, employees and airport visitors must wear a mask in the terminal. Masks must cover your nose and mouth. Children under two and people with certain medical conditions are exempt from wearing a mask.
- Transport Canada requires all passengers who are unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons, to provide a medical certificate. If you are unable to wear a mask during your flight, you may not be able to travel. Check your airline's mask policies before travelling.
- Masks with exhalation valves or vents, bandanas, neck gaiters, full face masks, face shields or militaristic-style masks are not permitted. Masks must remain in place at airport screening points or as directed by airline employees or public health officials.
- Masks are available for purchase at the airport; however, supplies are limited. We encourage all passengers to bring a mask with them to the airport. More information about the regulation, including exceptions where face coverings must not be worn, is available on the Transport Canada website.
Health and temperature screening
- All airlines 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.
- At security screening, CATSA personnel conduct temperature checks of all departing passengers and airport employees working in restricted areas. This new screening measure is in addition to the existing health screening and mask requirements already in place.
- A temperature screening station is located in the pre-board security screening area, and all passengers will have their temperature taken by either a temperature scanning camera stationed two metres away or by a contactless, hand-held thermometer.
- Any passenger who has a temperature at or above 38 degrees Celsius on the first screening will be asked to wait for 10 minutes in a nearby designated waiting area, unless they present a medical certificate indicating that an elevated temperature is not due to COVID-19 (a negative COVID-19 test is not sufficient). A passenger whose temperature remains at or above 38 degrees Celsius after a second reading will not be permitted to continue their travel and will be asked to re-book their travel after 14 days.
- Four airports in Canada are currently accepting international flights (Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport) to ensure the continued transport of essential goods and to welcome Canadians home.
- Canada has closed its borders to foreign nationals, with some exceptions. Please contact Canada Border Service Agency at 1-800-461-9999 with any questions.
International travel screening measures
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia have implemented several screening measures at Canada's four airports currently accepting international flights (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto Pearson and Montréal-Trudeau):
- All international passengers arriving in B.C. will land at Vancouver International Airport (YVR). All arriving passengers from outside of Canada, who are connecting to other airports or destinations, are required to submit a self-isolation plan. It must show that returning passengers have supports in place to safely self-isolate 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.
- 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.
Pre-departure COVID-19 testing
- Transport Canada requires all passengers five years of age or older to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling by air from another country to Canada.
- Prior to boarding a flight to Canada, travellers must present documentation of a negative laboratory test result to the airline prior to coming to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test within 72 hours prior to boarding.
- Anyone who receives a negative test result and enters Canada must still complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
- Currently, airlines at YLW are operating domestic routes only. A PCR test is not required for travel within Canada; however, travellers are responsible for knowing current COVID-19 restrictions in place at your destination.
- Everyone entering Canada is required to provide accurate information to government officials and must answer all questions truthfully when entering Canada and/or contacted during the 14-day quarantine period. Failure to comply could result in up to six months in prison and/or up to $750,000 in fines.
- More information is available on the Transport Canada website.
Learn more about Canada's travel directives and screening measures.
The safety and well-being of passengers, employees and our community is our priority. YLW is committed to sharing information and updates about COVID-19 impacts at the airport.
All recent travellers are advised to check and monitor the BC Centre for Disease Control Public Exposures website for possible in-flight exposures to COVID-19. If your flight is listed, you may be required to self-isolate or self monitor for symptoms. We are providing our utmost support to these agencies and are doing our part to help notify the community of potential exposure.