Health Checks by Air Carriers
Branch/Agency: Transport Canada
- Air carrier are required to refuse to board travellers that presents with COVID-19 symptoms.
- All air carriers flying into Canada are required to do a basic health check of all air travellers before they board the flight based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- The guidance requires air operators to ask simple health questions, look for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommend the traveller to follow guidance from local health authorities.
- Transport Canada officials are in constant communications with air industry stakeholders given the rapidly evolving situation.
- These measures will remain in place as long as necessary to support Canada’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights to Canada due to COVID-19.
The interim Order defines immediate family member as follows:
- the spouse or common-law partner of the person;
- a dependent child of the person or of the person's spouse or common-law partner;
- a dependent child of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b);
- the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person's spouse or common-law partner; or
- the guardian or tutor of the person. (membre de la famille immédiate)
The interim Order prohibits air carrier from permitting a foreign national to board an aircraft for a flight to Canada departing from any country other than the United States but does not apply to the following persons:
- an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or of a permanent resident as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
- a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act;
- a person who is authorized, in writing, by a consular officer of the Government of Canada to enter Canada for the purpose of reuniting immediate family members;
- a crew member;
- a person who is exempt from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa under paragraph 190(2)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the immediate family members of that person;
- a person who enters Canada at the invitation of the Minister of Health for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response;
- a person who arrives by means of an aircraft operated by the Canadian Forces or the Department of National Defence;
- a member of the Canadian Forces or a visiting force, as defined in section 2 of the Visiting Forces Act, and the immediate family members of that member;
- a protected person within the meaning of subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
- a French citizen who resides in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and has been only in Saint-Pierre- et-Miquelon, the United States or Canada during the period of 14 days before the day on which they board;
- a person or any person in a class of persons who, in the opinion of the Chief Public Health Officer appointed under subsection 6(1) of the Public Health Agency of Canada Act
- does not pose a risk of significant harm to public health, or
- will provide an essential service while in Canada;
- a person whose presence in Canada, in the opinion of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, is in the national interest; or
- a person in transit through Canada to another country.
Denial of boarding
Travellers are only denied boarding for a period of 14 days or until a medical certificate can be provided indicating the patient does not carry the virus. It is expected that most air carriers would rebook these passengers, and encourage all travel service providers to take a reasonable and balanced approach to helping their customers return to Canada.
A traveller who has already been denied boarding by either the same or another air carrier flying to Canada could face a $5,000 penalty should they try to board the flight without a valid medical certificate.
Prepared by: Adriana Simedrea, Chief, Parliamentary Affairs, Transport Canada, 613-993-9177
Approved by: Jimmy Brackenridge, Director, Strategic Services, Transport Canada, 613-852-5763
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