On Feb 28, Canada will reopen more airports to international passenger flights. Currently these flights can only arrive at one of 18 airports, but the government has confirmed this restriction will end on Feb 28.
CYQX/Gander is one of those airports not currently on the list – although they have been able to handle tech-stops all through the pandemic, international pax have not been able to disembark here for over a year.
So until Feb 28, here are the airports allowed to receive international passenger flights:
- CYYZ/Toronto Pearson
- CYTZ/Toronto Billy Bishop
- CYYT/St Johns
And here’s the Notam in question, which will expire on Feb 28:
H3740/21 (Issued for CZUL CZQX CZQM) COVID-19: FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, WITH THE INTENT TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 THROUGHOUT CANADA, ALL COMMERCIAL AIR SVC, PRIVATE OPR (CAR SUBPART 604) AND FOREIGN BUSINESS AVIATION, THAT ARE TRANSPORTING PASSENGERS TO CANADA MUST COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THE INTERIM ORDER RESPECTING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR CIVIL AVIATION DUE TO COVID-19, ISSUED BY THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND CURRENTLY IN FORCE. THIS INCLUDES A REQUIREMENT PASSENGERS TO WEAR FACE MASKS AND PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF A NEGATIVE RESULT FOR A COVID-19 MOLECULAR TEST PRIOR TO BOARDING. IN ADDITION TO ABV, AND PURSUANT TO SECTION 5.1 OF THE AERONAUTICS ACT, ALL COMMERCIAL AIR SVC, PRIVATE OPR (CAR SUBPART 604) AND FOREIGN BUSINESS AVIATION, THAT ARE TRANSPORTING PASSENGERS TO CANADA MUST, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DISEMBARKING PASSENGERS, LAND AT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING AP: - AEROPORT INTL DE MONTREAL-TRUDEAU (CYUL) - AEROPORT DE QUEBEC-JEAN LESAGE (CYQB) - CALGARY INTL AIRPORT (CYYC) - SASKATOON INTL AIRPORT (CYXE) - REGINA INTL AIRPORT (CYQR) - WINNIPEG INTL AIRPORT- JAMES ARMSTRONG (CYWG) - TORONTO-PEARSON INTL AIRPORT (CYYZ) - TORONTO-BILLY BISHOP TORONTO CITY (CYTZ) - HAMILTON INTL AIRPORT (CYHM) - WATERLOO INTL AIRPORT (CYKF) - OTTAWA INTL AIRPORT (CYOW) - VANCOUVER INTL AIRPORT (CYVR) - VICTORIA INTL AIRPORT (CYYJ) - KELOWNA INTL AIRPORT (CYLW) - ABBOTSFORD INTL AIRPORT (CYXX) - HALIFAX INTL AIRPORT-STANDFIELD (CYHZ) - ST. JOHN'S INTL AIRPORT (CYYT) THIS RESTRICTION DOES NOT APPLY TO ACFT OPERATED IN THE FLW CIRCUMSTANCES: - DIRECT FLT FM SAINT-PIERRE-ET-MIQUELON - MEDEVAC FLT - FERRY AND CREW REPATRIATION FLT - CARGO FLIGHTS CARRYING ONLY AIRCREW OR AIRLINE EMPLOYEES - TECHNICAL STOPS WHERE PASSENGERS DO NOT DISEMBARK - AT ALTERNATE AP IDENTIFIED IN A FLT PLAN TO ADDRESS WX - ACFT SAFETY SITUATIONS, OR - IN THE CASE WHERE SPECIAL AUTH HAS BEEN GRANTED BY TRANSPORT CANADA: 1-888-857-4003. SFC - UNL, 30 NOV 05:01 2021 UNTIL 28 FEB 21:00 2022. CREATED: 23 NOV 14:27 2021
Also effective Feb 28, testing rules will be eased for vaccinated passengers. Essentially, the change here is that travellers will now have the option of using a rapid antigen test (taken the day prior to their flight) instead of a PCR test (taken no more than 72 hours before their flight) if they wish. However, the rapid antigen test still needs to be administered in a health care facility, so although it might be slightly cheaper than getting a PCR test, it’s not really any less onerous.
There’s no impact on crew, who are exempt from testing. However, since 15 Jan 2022, all foreign crew need to be vaccinated to enter Canada. The same rule applies to all passengers aged 12 and older. Crew who are Canadian citizens/residents do not need to be vaccinated, along with several other exempted categories which you can read more about here.
Ultimately, if you’re unsure about Canada’s entry rules, the best thing to do is use their official online tool to quickly work these out depending on your circumstances.
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