You are currently viewing Clarification About The Grace Period For Canada’s New Requirement To Fly

The government will require mandatory vaccination for any flight departing from a Canadian airport (if it really goes ahead as promised; making Canada one of the only countries in the world—possibly the only one even—to ban the unvaccinated from leaving). But from October 30 to November 29, there will be a grace period that allows for a PCR test instead of vaccination.

Some people were worried that the test alone wouldn’t be enough, so Flytrippers checked with Transport Canada.


Cause of confusion

As we told you in our post about Canada’s new travel requirement, it was clear from the beginning that the vaccination requirement would apply to any flight departing from a Canadian airport.

That’s what we told you since day 1. But many thought it would only apply to domestic flights, although I’m not quite sure why. Not so surprising, almost nobody really understands travel rules, unfortunately.

Yet for once (which is rare with this government), this requirement was very clear from the beginning. They always said it would be for all flights.

(Is it really going to be that way on the 30th? That’s a whole other topic…)

But last week, when they announced the start date for this measure, they announced something new that had never been mentioned: A one-month grace period.

What they announced in the press conference was very clear: For one month, instead of being vaccinated, it would be possible to fly by simply showing proof of a 72-hour negative PCR test.

But when the official government website was updated, there was this turn of phrase (emphasis is mine):

For travellers who are in the process of being vaccinated, there will be a short transition period where they will be able to travel if they can show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel.

This has caused confusion for some of our readers, even though there was never any mention of having to prove anything about vaccination being in process.

Here is what Flytrippers wrote about that:

We interpret that sentence’s wording more as yet another form of political marketing: The government probably want to appear to be giving an exemption only to the “good guys” who are in the process of getting vaccinated and not to the “bad guys” who are not the process of getting vaccinated.

Punishing the unvaccinated wins many political points these days, almost as much as punishing travelers did for most of the pandemic. So being tough on the unvaccinated who want to travel? That’s a double-whammy of political points to score, a real no-brainer for politicians!


Transport Canada’s response

Since many were concerned, Flytrippers reached out to Transport Canada’s media relations department to double-check.

They quickly and kindly responded and confirmed that indeed, the test is all that will be required to take advantage of the exemption during the grace period.

They rephrased the sentence (that’s what should have been on the government website, but it wouldn’t have scary enough for the unvaccinated I guess):

All travellers are encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as possible as they must be vaccinated to travel as of November 30. To allow travellers to become fully vaccinated by that date, there will be a short transition period starting October 30 where they will be able to travel if they can show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel as an alternative to providing proof of full vaccination. That transition period will end on November 30. If you have not already started the vaccination process, or do not start soon, travellers risk not qualifying for travel as of November 30. 

In short, it’s simple: You can fly with a test up to and including November 29.

Starting November 30, if the government really goes ahead with this, you could be stuck in Canada for a long time.


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Nothing at all is required to board a plane until October 30 (same as since day 1) and those who are not vaccinated will be allowed to fly until November 29 with a 72-hour PCR test.

What do you want to know about this rule? Tell us in the comments below.


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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. Devon

    Hello, I want to say thank you for those piece of information. We are Foreign stuck in Canada and we will move out next year because of the tyranny, and we’re very scared and physically sick in fear to know that we might be stuck there. I do not believe they can keep Foreigners in a country that isnt theirs, it’s holding us hostage ! Your precessions really make us less anxious, even tho we know everything is changing every month or so. We will continue to have faith, thank you!

  2. Anon

    Do you know if the US November 8 rule applies to children? 11 & 12 year olds?

  3. Kevin

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this.
    What a relief to come across some factual, unbiased information that cuts through the fear and propaganda that seems to be everywhere else.
    This is great news, as I am heading to the USA, but this gives me a full extra week to put my plans into place.
    Thank you again for clarifying this!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, thank you for following us. It’s our mission to help all Canadians travel more for less and we’ve traveled ourselves before vaccines were available so it would be hypocritical to say that we won’t cover how those who choose to not get vaccinated can travel too!

  4. Alexis

    Do you know if unvaccinated Canadians will be able to fly home after Nov 29. For example if you were set to come home in November and test positive and have to quarantine abroad in to December. Would that person still be able to fly home after Nov 30?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, the new rule is strictly to board a plane from a Canadian airport. There is no change whatsoever to Canada’s entry rules. Canadians are currently (and have always been) allowed to enter Canada by land, by air, or by sea even if they are not vaccinated. There was no mention to change this at all, it’s a completely separate rule.

  5. Mars

    Hello. Do you know what about visitors in Canada? Could they like unvaccinated return to their countries?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi based on the rules announced, they can’t board any plane in a Canadian airport. It doesn’t make much sense though. Which is why the rule might end up being less strict than what they announced…

  6. Dave mark

    Hi Andrew…does this include flying to the usa also from Canada? Thx

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes, you will not be able to board any plane. Although it is a moot point for the US specifically because starting November 8, the US will only accept fully vaccinated foreigners.

      1. Dave mark

        Hi Sorry Andrew, im not sure i made myself clear.

        Maybe im repeating the same question as i only see part of my question here & your reply .

        What i meant was can canadians travel with a pcr test from Toronto Pearson, say to florida till November 29th with a PCR test?

        Thanks again

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Not to Florida, because the US will require vaccination for all foreigners starting November 8. But you can board a flight in Toronto-Pearson with a PCR test without a problem until and including November 29. You just have to go to a country where they don’t require vaccination (and follow transit rules too if the flight is not direct). As of now, there are 145 countries open to unvaccinated Canadians, but this changes regularly of course.
        Here is the list:

      3. Selena

        Do you know if the USA has a grace period after November 8? If your not vaccinated.
        Similar to November 29 for Canada.
        Do you have any links for this information?

  7. Brenda

    I’m not vaccinated and do not want to be so I pushed up and extended my trip to Florida before the new Biden rules comes into effect on Nov 8th to not let me in. While there, I’d like to apply for refugee status from Canada because once I return to Canada, I won’t be allowed to leave the country ever again!! I will be a prisoner here without the right to travel (fly) within Canada or to countries that welcome me !! And the way it’s going with this government, I expect the restrictions to get worse and who knows what else they will impose on the people not vaccinated.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I don’t know if you are joking but if not, you will most certainly not be accepted as a refugee. There are ways to get a work visa which could work of course, but that aside, you will unfortunately be stuck here if Canada really goes ahead as planned.

  8. Mimi

    1. What about charter flights or private jets leaving Canada from a Canadian airport ?
    2. If the USA changes entry rules and says unvaccinated can enter, can Canada prevent us from going there by land?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      1- We’re still waiting for the rules for private planes. In theory, they should be exempt, but not 100% confirmed.
      2- If the USA lets unvaccinated foreigners in, you’ll be able to exit Canada by land. They can’t require you to be vaccinated to get into your own car or leave the country.

      1. Mimi

        Ok thanks .
        Some people are saying that Trudeau they doesn’t have the ability to put forth this restriction if the airline is a foreign airline . Is this possibly true ?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        No, that is not true. Canada decides who gets to board flights in Canada. Whether he can actually keep Canadians from leaving is much more debatable, but he can definitely apply rules to all airlines.

  9. John

    Still no info about if it includes private jets? Has anyone asked Transport Canada?

  10. Twyla

    The FIRST unbiased writing I have read (without needing to bypass the first 10 google searches) I’ve come across in a VERY VERY long time. Thank you for the accurate, concise, and telling it like it really is article. Much appreciated!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Thanks, it’s our pleasure. It’s our mission to help all Canadian travelers!

  11. MF

    Thank you so much for clarifying this! This government is turning Canada into North Korea where you can’t leave “unless” you are double jabbed. Next will be only if triple and so on. Doesn’t stop here. We are leaving and moving away from this tyranny.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      It’s our mission to help all travelers so glad the info can be useful:)

  12. Kelly

    So… does that mean if I’m fully vaccinated, I don’t have to have the covid test if I leave on November 3rd to the US?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      That is absolutely not what that means. US entry rules require a test. That has nothing to do with Canada unfortunately. So you most definitely eed a test to enter the US. Canada’s new rule is a new requirement to board a plane in a Canadian airport. It is completely separate and independent from any country’s entry rules.

      1. Selena

        Do you know if the USA has a grace period after November 8? If your not vaccinated.
        Similar to November 29 for Canada.
        Do you have any links for this information?

  13. David

    Any chance you received something in writing?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes, that’s the quote in the article. From Transport Canada directly.

      1. David

        I’m traveling in November with my 2 young children (we’re moving) and I’m so nervous that some form of misinterpretation or change happens. I’ve called Health Canada 3 times who have confirmed the same to me, but they refuse to send me anything written. Would you be so kind as to forward or share that email directly with me, that shows the sender, so that I can have some sort of written proof on hand?
        With much appreciation.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, unfortunately, we’re not supposed to forward the emails from media response offices. Their textual response is in the quotation marks at the end of the post, but unfortunately even the email would likely not be of much use if they decide to change the rules eventually (which is their prerogative as the elected government unfortunately).

      3. anon


  14. Brenda

    Do you know if producing proof that you’ve had covid and finished your quarantine within 14-90 days of when you are flying from Canada to the US will be accepted during the grace period?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Canada doesn’t recognize a previous infection as “fully vaccinated” so it will likely not be enough to board a plane (although Canada does require it as an exemption to the pre-entry test, so maybe you’ll be okay actually, TBD).
      The US entry rules might be less strict about this, but they haven’t given details yet officially.

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