You are currently viewing The new requirement to board any plane in Canada: ultimate guide

It’s now in effect: For the first time, there is a requirement to board a plane departing from Canadian airports (no, there has never been any before). Vaccination is mandatory to board any flight (not just domestic flights). Nothing changes if you are vaccinated… but if you are not, your travel options have been greatly reduced.

So here’s the ultimate guide about the extreme measure that is mandatory vaccination for all flights, which makes the unvaccinated prisoners of their own country.

(It is a measure that Canada is quite possibly the only one in the world to have, by the way.)


6 key facts about Canada’s mandatory vaccination requirement

Here are the 6 highlights in an infographic.

See full-size image


And here’s the text version:

  • No changes to entry rules (completely separate)
  • New requirement to board any plane, train, or ship departing FROM Canada
  • Any plane means any plane: Domestic and international flights too
  • Being fully vaccinated is mandatory
  • Only very limited exemptions exist
  • Children under the age of 12 years and 4 months are exempt

Note that the government has confirmed that unvaccinated Canadians entering the country will not have a special exemption to catch a connecting flight or long-distance train. They can board regional trains and any buses though, as these modes of transport are much safer🤡.

(Foreigners, new permanent residents, and refugees who are not vaccinated will be allowed to catch a connecting flight as long as it’s in the 24 hours after their entry into Canada.)

Before we look at each of the 6 elements more closely…

To be very clear, absolutely nothing has changed if you are fully vaccinated (as long as you are considered fully vaccinated by Canada’s definition of course, which is different than some provinces’ definition; see point #4 below for details).


How to travel (step by step)

For those who prefer a simple step-by-step summary (and have not yet read our ultimate guide to pandemic travel).


If you are fully vaccinated

You can travel by following the same 3 steps for any trip:

It’s that simple.


If you are not vaccinated

You can travel with these 5 options (well 6, if you count getting vaccinated as an option):

  • Take advantage of the impractical way to fly out of Canada (on pause due to omicron; article to come soon)
  • Fly through a remote community
  • Travel within Canada by road
  • Take a private plane
  • Take a private boat 

We included a detailed section about this below, because even if we are fully vaccinated… the fact is that rationally, traveling without being vaccinated is not magically more dangerous now than it was 1 month or 1 year ago when it was 100% allowed.


Why the requirement was implemented

If you care to know, it’s probably not for safety.

Because clearly, the government doesn’t really believe that having unvaccinated travelers on a plane is risky: All foreigners are allowed to sit on planes to Canada and planes departing from Canada without being vaccinated (or even tested!!!).

Yes, transits in Canada are wide open.

And without any requirement. Since the beginning of the pandemic. That has not changed.

All passengers transiting through Canada are exempt from this new requirement to be fully vaccinated (and even if they are unvaccinated they’ve always been exempt from the pre-departure test and still are).

But also, for safety, a molecular test could easily be accepted as an alternative. Because a traveler who is unvaccinated but tested is possibly less risky than a traveler who is vaccinated (we don’t need to be tested, but we can still be infected and transmit the virus even with our vaccine).

Unvaccinated travelers who enter Canada have been tested within 72 hours and are retested upon arrival: 1% test positive according to government data. It is not unreasonable to believe that vaccinated travelers could be 1% positive as well since they are not tested. And thus be just as much of a risk than unvaccinated travelers (who would be tested).

In short, maybe the goal is not really to protect us but to encourage vaccination and/or to punish the unvaccinated.

That could be debated (well, in a hypothetical world where a rational debate was still possible). But the government should at least be honest and stop pretending it’s for safety if it keeps letting foreigners onboard the same planes without being vaccinated or tested!


Details of Canada’s mandatory vaccination requirement

Here are all the details you need to know.


1. No changes to Canada’s entry rules (completely separate)

This new requirement has absolutely nothing to do with Canada’s entry rules. No connection. There is absolutely nothing changing in terms of Canada’s entry rules for unvaccinated Canadians.

Non-vaccinated Canadian travelers can still enter Canada, regardless of when and how they enter.

And this new requirement has even less to do with other countries’ entry rules… since they are other independent countries.


2. New requirement to board any plane, train, or ship departing FROM Canada

This is a whole new step in the travel rules actually: It’s only a requirement to board a plane departing from a Canadian airport.

Here is another simple way to look at this addition of a new step.

See full-size image or share on Facebook


You only had 2 steps to travel since the beginning of the pandemic, as explained in the ultimate guide to pandemic travel:

  • Check the entry rules for the places you are going to and follow them
  • Check the entry rules for your return to Canada and follow them

It was simple. There were only the destination’s entry rules and no other requirements, contrary to what many people seemed to think (and no, airlines don’t have requirements either; they just apply the countries’ rules).

Now, it’s just one more step, it’s not that complicated to understand either.

(And even if it was complicated to understand or plan a trip, it would still be worth it compared to not traveling if you’re really a traveler who likes to travel… or even compared to traveling within your province in my humble opinion…)

Here’s the new simple step in bold:

  • Check the rules to board a plane departing from a Canadian airport and follow them
  • Check the entry rules for the places you are going to and follow them
  • Check the entry rules for your return to Canada and follow them

So, now you need to be fully vaccinated to fly. 


3. Any plane means any plane: Domestic and international flights included

There are 3 types of trips affected (all departing FROM Canada obviously):

  • Planes
  • Trains
  • Marine vessels

For planes, it’s the same thing the government has been saying since the beginning: It will apply to take ANY flight departing from a Canadian airport.

NOT just domestic flights. For once (which is rare with this government), it was very clear.

Flytrippers has been telling you since literally day 1 after the press conference in August that this new rule will apply to all flights departing from a Canadian airport. There was NEVER any mention of it applying to just domestic flights by the way, I really don’t know where everyone got that idea.

(Well, even several major media outlets wrote articles in a way that seems to have been confusing from the beginning…)

Hence the importance of following Flytrippers as travel experts who are 100% focused on travel rules and therefore understand them better than almost everyone, clearly. 

For trains, the vaccination requirement applies to all VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.

For marine vessels, local ferries are EXCLUDED. The vaccination requirement only applies to large vessels whose itineraries are over 24 hours in duration. Rules for the resumption of cruise ship travel in Canada for the Spring of 2022 are in the process of being developed.


4. Being fully vaccinated is mandatory

The most important thing to understand about travel rules is that each country makes its own rules and they vary greatly: Nothing is harmonized.

It’s the same thing within the country actually. Just because you are fully vaccinated according to your province does not mean that you are fully vaccinated according to Canada (for example, one dose and one infection is considered vaccinated by Québec, but not by Canada).

Canada has its own definition of “fully vaccinated” and it is obviously the only one that counts since this requirement is a requirement imposed by Canada to board a plane in Canada.

This is who is considered “fully vaccinated” by Canada.

See full-size image


t’s very simple:

  • You need to have been vaccinated with one of the 7 WHO-approved vaccines
    • Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), Sinopharm, Sinovac, or COVAXIN
    • Mixed doses are accepted
  • You need to have received all required doses
    • 1 dose for Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
    • 2 doses for all other vaccines
  • You need to have received the last required dose at least 14 full days prior
    • If you got vaccinated on the 1st, you are fully vaccinated only on the 16th
  • You need to have proof in English, French, or with a certified translation
    • Paper or digital formats are both accepted
  • You can have received your vaccine anywhere in the world
    • As long as you meet the above criteria

Proving your vaccination is very simple.

Any proof in English or French is accepted (or with a certified translation), whether it is a paper or digital version. We explained to you in our article on the new “Canadian” vaccine passport for travel that many people are worried about this for nothing.

I share a detailed post about the experience, as my recent flight to Louisiana was my first time flying with a requirement just to board the plane itself, after 41 flights during the pandemic where the only requirements were those imposed by my destinations.


5. Exemptions from Canada’s mandatory vaccination rule

For travelers over the age of 12 years and 4 months, here are the known exemptions at this time:

  • Passengers transiting in Canada
  • Indigenous peoples and Northerners in remote communities
  • Canadians who need to travel for an “emergency”
  • Canadians with “very limited” medical reasons
  • Foreign nationals who normally reside outside of Canada


Passengers transiting through Canada

As mentioned, passengers transiting through Canada by air, whether they are Canadians or foreigners, do not need to be vaccinated (or even tested).

This exemption is what actually what created the lesser-known but impractical way for unvaccinated Canadians to fly out of the country that I mentioned earlier…

More info below.


Indigenous peoples and Northerners in remote communities

Another way to be allowed to fly “for any reason” without being vaccinated is to move to (or fly through) a remote community.

Here is the Government’s explanation for this exemption (emphasis is mine):

“The Government of Canada is engaging with Indigenous peoples, provinces and territories to ensure that travellers from remote communities who are not fully vaccinated are still able to travel for any reason

See below for an example.

This exemption not only allows avoiding the vaccination requirement but also avoiding the test as an alternative. At least when departing from northern airports.

When departing towards a northern airport, the tests are provided free of charge at the airport!

It is not clear if all Canadian taxpayers are subsidizing this cost (if the government is “paying” for the tests) or if only travelers are subsidizing it in their airfare (if the airline is “paying” for the tests).


Canadians who need to travel for an “emergency”

The word “emergency” is very subjective and broad. They did not give any details. In fact, this exemption is only listed on the French language site, not on the English site.

Maybe it is a very vague exemption… or a very specific one. Or a non-existing one? Who knows.

Could leaving Canada end up being included as an emergency trip? Many legal experts doubt that preventing people from leaving a country is even doable, so this would be one way to allow it. To be continued.


Canadians with “very limited” medical reasons

All Canadians who have a valid medical reason for not getting vaccinated are obviously exempt.

No additional details are provided by the government. In fact, they offloaded the issue to airlines. Maybe some of them will be less strict than others…


Foreign nationals who normally reside outside of Canada

Provided they entered before October 30, unvaccinated foreign nationals (only vaccinated foreign nationals can enter for tourism since September 7, but there were plenty of various exemptions throughout the pandemic that still exist) will be able to leave without being vaccinated.

They haven’t specified exactly how a foreigner can prove that they “normally reside outside of Canada.”

So depending on the criteria that are still unknown (can you just provide any address in another country?), the ≈ 2 million Canadians with dual citizenship may not have any more rights than their fellow Canadians and could really be stuck here too.

Not sure their second country’s government finds that measure reasonable.

It’s not clear why it’s too risky for a foreigner who entered after October 30 to fly out without being vaccinated but it’s not too risky for those who entered before October 30. The Science™ strikes again.

Finally, this is the only part of this whole requirement that has a known end date: The exemption for foreigners is until February 28. After that, they will no longer be allowed to fly either and will be imprisoned here apparently (assuming there are no legal challenges).


6. Children under 12 years and 4 months of age are exempt

Children under the age of 12 years and 4 months are exempt from Canada’s new vaccination requirement to fly. They still do not need a test to board a plane, just like since day one.

That “4 months” part is new too.

It’s to give a certain amount of time to get children vaccinated once they are eligible (not as flexible as the USA, which exempts all under-18s from their vaccination requirement for entry, as do many countries, but it’s better than no buffer at all).

On the other hand, now that Health Canada has made children eligible for the vaccine, it may become a requirement for them too very quickly, but nothing has been announced about that. There will almost certainly be at least a 4 month grace period, if not more. To be continued.

Please note that the quarantine exemption for unvaccinated children who enter Canada applies for those under 12 precisely, not 12 and 4 months. I’ll say it again: Every rule is completely separate, even if it’s the same country. It’s another rule, so it’s different. The principle is easy to understand.

You can read our ultimate guide of travel rules for children.


5 ways to travel without being vaccinated

Getting vaccinated is by far the easiest way to simplify travel rules.

But here are 5 other options that are still available even for those who don’t think they meet the conditions for the formal exemptions and don’t want to be vaccinated.

Of course, you can also just wait for the end of the requirement: Apparently, the measure is temporary (to be confirmed).


1. Take advantage of the impractical way to fly out of Canada

Yes, there was a little-known way to fly out of Canada without being vaccinated (or even tested).

It was certainly not very practical, but it was possible.

It’s on pause after recent changes due to the omicron variant, but as soon as it’s available once again, we’ll share it (sign up for our free travel newsletter to be the first to get all our content).


2. Fly through a remote community

Ethically, it’s debatable whether you should fly through a remote airport to be allowed to fly. That’s subjective.

What’s objective, is that the government rules allow it.

What the government rules say is that you could fly to a remote community without being vaccinated, the airline will even provide a free test for you to do so. Then, you can fly from a remote community to anywhere in Canada with that same test.

For example, if you live in Montreal and want to fly to Vancouver, you could fly Montreal to Kuujjuaq and then Kuujjuaq to Vancouver, since flying to and from a remote community is allowed without being vaccinated.

Ethically, it’s up to you to determine if you are comfortable flying through remote communities just to be able to fly within Canada, because Transport Canada media relations confirmed this is only allowed to fly within Canada, not internationally.

These plane tickets are often quite expensive too (unless you use Aeroplan points, as some remote destinations are sweet spots of the new program).

What is clear is that this is not very practical, and certainly not very affordable in most cases. But it is possible at least if you want to fly within Canada.


3. Travel within Canada by road

Flytrippers will always encourage international travel first, for the culture shock (and the lower cost).

But there is no entry requirement to enter many provinces by car, even without being vaccinated.

Also, travel by bus is not included in this new requirement. I’ll add another science sidenote: It’s well-known that the virus cannot be transmitted in a bus, even if they do not have the powerful HEPA filters that airplanes have🤡.

So unvaccinated travelers can board all buses (or ferries). No test is required either.


4. Take a private plane

Private flights are exempt from the vaccination requirement, as long as they do not use the secure zone of a commercial airport.

It is prohibitively expensive, but perhaps a new (cheaper) private flight service will develop for unvaccinated Canadians. If there is demand, the market always provides as they say (unless of course government regulation disrupts market forces as it often loves to do).


5. Take a private boat

You can’t leave the country by car or on foot, as the USA will require vaccination as soon as their land border reopens on November 8.

But it is possible to go around the USA by boat to get to countries that are open to unvaccinated Canadians.


Outlook for future travel rules

Trudeau liked to score political points with this measure during the campaign, saying that it was absolutely vital to implement this.

So vital that he didn’t implement it before the election (inaction that has put us all at risk by his logic) and so vital they took over 2 months after the election to implement it… That means that either everyone was at grave risk since then and he didn’t do anything about it, or that he might have exaggerated a bit…

But that’s the legendary slowness of this government, we’ve seen it from the start of the pandemic (they took 6 months to set up something as simple as temperature checks in airports and over a year to force airlines to refund customers when the EU and US did that in a month).

We’ll have to get used to it, because enough people in precisely the right arbitrary imaginary lines voted for them (they did not even win the most votes in their useless election in the middle of a pandemic).

Expect the travel rules decision process not to change too much: It’s just not true that science is what guides this government on the travel file. Anyone who knows anything about travel and has been following this closely for the last year knows that’s factually wrong.

If they really wanted to protect everyone on board their flights, they would also impose mandatory testing since the science seems to say that even vaccinated people can transmit the virus…

And most importantly, they would stop unvaccinated foreigners from being allowed on flights to and from Canada without even being tested (for transits).

The positive side of this is that maybe with the election out of the way, they’ll stop making travel rules based on media headlines and base them on facts instead. Maybe that’s too optimistic though.

It took a while, but they finally followed their own committee of scientific experts’ recommendation of abolishing the ineffective quarantine hotels. Maybe they’ll continue with their announced plan to further loosen travel restrictions. Who knows.

That panel of experts also said pre-departure testing was “excessive” and recommended removing that requirement over 6 months ago. The government has not followed the experts’ advice yet.

In any case, Flytrippers will continue to keep you informed of all the details as soon as they are announced.


Background of the mandatory vaccination rule

For those who are interested in this rule’s history, this new measure had been announced in mid-August just before a useless election was called in the middle of a pandemic.

(That day we had said it was a useless election, but with the results being almost identical to the previous parliament, our apologies: It was extremely useless is what we should have said instead.)

That’s really all the government said on the topic: Mandatory vaccination for all flights before the end of October.

On October 1, then Health Minister Patty Hajdu reconfirmed in a press conference that the end of October timeline still stood, but no details were provided.

On October 6, most details about this measure were officially announced, including the grace period.

On October 29, a few more details about exemptions were confirmed in another press conference.

And finally, the measure came into effect on October 30 at 3 AM (Eastern time).

On November 30, the grace period (that allowed for a molecular test to be presented instead of proof of vaccination and that allowed airlines to not even verify any of the 2) ended quietly without any other announcements.


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The requirement to be vaccinated to board a plane departing from a Canadian airport is now in effect since November 30. Canada might possibly be the only country in the world with such an extreme rule—or at the very least one of the very few.

What would you like to know about Canada’s new vaccination requirement to fly? 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: 64/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 80 Comments

  1. Bill

    Does anyone know of a service providing private boat trips from Canada to Mexico? I don’t think I can afford a private flight.

  2. Bruce

    Hi Andrew! Awesome info thx! Question, you mention flying unvaccinated while in transit is allowed. Let’s say I fly YYZ to YVR then to Thailand( final destination) would that work? Or the first flight must be another country other than Canada?? Thx again!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, no it’s only allowed for international transits (if you are flying from another country to another country via Canada). The government science allows passengers to board a plane to Canada without being vaccinated (and without even being tested) but ONLY if they then board a flight from Canada to another country (again without being vaccinated or tested)… you know, those same flights that unvaccinated Canadians aren’t even allowed to board 🤡

  3. David

    Any tips as to private flights/charters for those Canadians who choose to avoid the jab(s) – Ontario (Toronto) to Mexico?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      The only one that a traveler mentioned in the comments is Air Bravo, but any private plane that doesn’t use the public area of a commercial airport is not subject to the vaccination requirement.

      1. Pooja

        These Private flights can land in any airport and can carry unvaccinated foreign nationals?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, the private flights can only take you to countries that do not require vaccination to enter (for example you could go to Mexico but not to the USA). And you have to be able to board the private flight without going through a commercial airport terminal.

  4. Colleen Kendall

    Hello Andrew……
    Is flying through a remote community ( if not vaccinated) still doable?

  5. Patti

    Is this an option for the unvaccinated? What if you have a positive PCR test and have recovered from COVID? Could you not travel to the US land border and cross. They accept this documentation and a letter from a health professional they you are cleared. That way you could travel through a US airport. It is only god for so many months, but there seems to be a new variant every six months.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, no the US requires full vaccination, they do not accept proof of recent infection as a substitute for vaccination. They accept proof of recent infection (and recovery) only to substitute the required negative test by air, not to substitute vaccination unfortunately.

  6. Shannon

    It is now 5 Dec, and the mandatory vaccine is in place to board a commercial flight in Canada. Does anyone know of any private jet companies, or owners of planes that are willing to fly the unvaccinated, especially for Christmas. There is a huge demand across Canada.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, if someone finds one and lets us know we will add it to this guide for sure.

      1. Jay James Binn

        I know of one but won’t tell names so they can keep on flying and helping people. Tip: look at the Ontario businesses against health pass group on facebook.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Unless the rules have changed (I don’t believe they have, but will double-check and let you know) private planes are not subject to the order so there would be no downside to naming them, except helping more travelers. But I’ll get back to you once I confirm with Transport Canada.

      3. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, so Transport Canada confirmed that private flights are exempt as I mentioned. So I know a lot of readers here would love to know the name of the private flights offering this service 🙂

      4. Jay James Binn

        Some companies that charter flights are asking for proof of vaccination, and it’s not easy to have someone accepting you if you’re not jabbed. But anyway… Bravo! Air… Bravo!

  7. Gui

    Hi Andrew, if you ever come across a private flight provider that accepts unvaccinated people, please let us know. I have researched this for quite a bit already and still haven’t found anything.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, will do. And we’ll update the post with the non-private flight option that is very inconvenient and expensive, but at least possible. Coming soon.

      1. Daniel Sabourin

        Got any updates for this yet?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, apart from private planes and boats, the other impractical alternative is suspended due to omicron, hopefully it will return. We will keep an eye out.

  8. Jenny

    If I renounced my Canadian citizenship, would that be considered an exemption for leaving the country unvaccinated? What danger would unvaccinated foreigners pose to other Canadians by leaving the country and never coming back after February 28, 2022 vs. trapping them in the country where they’d actually pose a health risk to other Canadians? Genuinely confused…

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I honestly have no expertise in how renouncing your citizenship works but I guess if you would become a foreigner, then yes you would be allowed out if you could prove you “normally reside outside Canada” now.
      As for how this “science-based measure” (lol) works, clearly it’s pointless to try to understand how leaving is more dangerous. It’s about punishing the unvaccinated or annoying them enough so they get vaccinated.
      But more likely it’s just that if you leave, you are likely to come back and then you could be more dangerous (although that is not true either, because you have a mandatory 14-day quarantine so you’re not a danger to anyone)…

  9. Panos

    Hi, I have both Greek and Canadian citizenships but only a Canadian passport now, do you think I will be able to leave Canada unvaccinated before the 28th of February as a foreign national? I do have Greek I.D. to prove..
    Thank you and great job!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Based on the rules they announced no, but this could change when the official rules are announced :S

  10. Christine

    Hi Andrew,

    I have a question about dual citizens. If a Canadian citizen is unvaccinated, and regularly lives overseas, my understanding is that they can fly into Canada unvaccinated with the PCR test and undergo quarantine. However, if they are a dual citizen and regularly live in that country, they should be able to fly out of Canada up to February 28th on the foreign passport while still remaining unvaccinated.

    Am I correct?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      The exemption to leave Canada without being vaccinated is only for those who entered before October 30, at least that’s what they announced. If so, they will have to prove they “normally reside outside Canada”, whatever that means. They didn’t give any details yet.
      Canadians can always enter Canada, vaccinated or not, they have not announced any changes to entry rules.

  11. Toru Minegishi

    Hi Andrew, good to see you again. Actually, I left Canada on October 29 and successfully came back to Japan on the next day. I realized the additional information on the vaccine exemption on foreign nationals right one hour before my flight on October 29 and it was a bit too late. During my stay in Canada, my status was a temporary resident of Canada with a student visa and my nationality is Japanese. Would I have been applicable to fly back to Japan without getting vaccinated until February 28? According to the order from the Canadian government, it was only for those who “normally reside outside of Canada”, therefore, I am wondering whether this rule was applied to me or not. It is too late, though.
    Second, right now, I am in Japan and I have to do quarantine in my house in Japan until November 13 but still my study permit in Canada is valid until November 2023. If I fly back to Canada in December or January, will I be able to enter unvaccinated? Also, will I be able to leave Canada unvaccinated? I am afraid I won’t. Though I will be able to enter, I will get trapped in here, in this case, because my entry will become past October 30.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, they haven’t really clearly defined the exemption for foreign nationals (“normally reside outside of Canada” as you quoted, is the only semblance of a definition although even that is pretty subjective). To be continued.
      As for returning to Canada yes, there has never been any change to the entry rules so if your student visa qualified you to enter, it still does. The requirement to be vaccinated to enter Canada is only for foreigners entering for non-essential purposes (or transiting through Canada).

  12. Lisa Meller

    Andrew, thank you so much for this information. I have Canadian clients who want to come to the USA (even if they need to stay for a few months to ride this out) but who are unvaxxed. (I support them wholeheartedly!) If I am following what you’ve outlined for travel BEFORE 11/8/21, they can come to the USA via a 72 hr pcr test to board the plane, but they will also need to test again on their return. CORRECT?

    And if I were to advise them to go to Mexico, which has no inbound requirements, they can do that by 11/29 before the grace period ends in Canada. Is that also correct? Thank you!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, correct, they can enter the US before November 8, whether they are vaccinated or not, with a test (it can be a rapid antigen test).
      As for the rule to board a plane in Canada, they can do that before November 30 and Mexico has no entry requirement at all indeed.

  13. Felix

    So, essentially if my mother come from a country with non-accepted vaccines (she is allow to enter if follows a 14 days quarantine) and plans to leave Canada after Nov 30, she will be indeed captive in Canada at least that she takes additional accepted vaccines.

  14. Christine E


    Would an unvaccinated individual who normally resides in the EU, but holds dual citizenship be able to fly into Canada on their Canadian passport and then leave on their EU passport up until February 28th? This is my understanding of the new exemption.


    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, they specifically said “foreign nationals” so it’s unclear if that includes dual citizens or not :S We’ll have to wait for the details.

  15. mak

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for the detailed article. It is very helpful.

    Regarding point 7 Exemptions from Canada’s mandatory vaccination rule, sub point 4
    Foreign nationals who normally reside outside of Canada

    Will the permanent residents of Canada who are citizens of other countries, will they be allowed to leave Canada under this rule till Feb 28? You have discussed the dual citizens of Canada but how would Permanent Residents of Canada be treated under this rule?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      From what they said now, it’s really only for foreigners with no status in Canada at all unfortunately.

  16. Jayde

    You said in this article that unvaccinated foreign travellers can enter Canada. That’s false according to the gov’t of Canada site. It says, “All travellers are eligible to enter Canada IF they qualify as a FULLY VACCINATED traveller regardless of citizenship.” Also why is the Flytrippers Calgary twitter account suspended??

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No I did not say they can enter Canada, I said they can all transit through Canada (so sit on the same planes to Canada and from Canada) without being vaccinated and tested. Also, there are plenty of exemptions that allow unvaccinated to enter Canada as well.

  17. Neil

    Can a Canadian who is not vaccinated, get a PCR test, fly to the US and get vaccinated (Johnson and Johnson), and return to Canada the same day.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, you can go by plane with a rapid antigen test only, doesn’t even need to be a PCR. But only until Friday.
      Then, from Saturday October 30 to November 7, you can also do that, but with a PCR test.
      To be clear, in both cases you will need to quarantine for 14 days when returning (and obviously get a PCR or NAAT to enter Canada like all travelers, which you can do in Canada if you only want to go for a day).
      As for doing that in the same day, there is no rule that depends on the length of stay. If you mean logistically, it’s possible assuming you find a J&J dose and appointment in a city where the flight times work well, as they don’t have them in all states anymore. But it’s certainly doable (this old guide can still help you:
      Starting November 8, only vaccinated Canadians will be allowed to enter the US.

  18. Phil

    I just booked flights to Guadaljara Mexico via Areomexico. They said they are not asking for the passes. While it appears as though EVERY flight requires the pass, such is not true. Each airline is responsible for thier own rules around who boards the plane Sine Mexico has no Covid rules around entering Mexico, there is no need for the doouble jab nor the pass.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time an airline representative had no clue what they are talking about (they often don’t). I’ll look into this though to confirm, it sure would make sense for airlines to only apply the entry rules like they do pretty much everywhere else in the world, but don’t rejoice too quickly either.

      1. Megan

        Anyone else tried this since Nov 30 with Aeromexico? Is it the airlines or govt that decide/mandate whether you have to show the pass at check-in?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        The government requires every airline, domestic or foreign, to enforce their rule unfortunately.

  19. Janet

    Thanks for the detailed info. I have a plan to leave the country after October 30 but I may leave earlier depending on the mandates for international flights. You say you got confirmation from Transport Canada that the grace period until Nov 30 does not include proving you have a single vx. Can you post the pertinent language in Transport Canada’s communication to you? There is an abundance of rumours on social media claiming one vx is necessary for the grace period. Thanks

  20. Mike

    This is a complete violation of our charter rights of mobility. The charter is not suspended just because the government declares an emergency. This order is completely illegal and it’s just a decree, what bill did they pass into law exactly?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Many seem to share that opinion. But many measures that limit freedom have been deemed “justified” and “reasonable” legally since the beginning of the pandemic. Who knows how judicial challenges will go for this new measure, but yeah, if there ever was one that could be reversed, you’d think it would be this one!

      1. Mike

        if the government can just revoke freedom by just making a proclamation, then we never were free to begin with. Freedoms are not something given to us by government, and are not something they can take away, no matter what the justification. There is no justification for this, because the unvaxxed cannot spread a disease they do not have, the disease cannot spread without symptoms, and the vaxxed can and are catching and spreading the disease even after being “fully” vaxxed. So what is the justification for this? Also, if someone had covid and recovered, all evidence has shown that they have lifelong immunuity and cannot spread the disease. If anyone should be restricted from travel, it’s the fully vaxxed. I’m not in favor of any restrictions, and indeed all restrictions during this pandemic have been illegal and not justified or backed up by any evidence.

  21. Ani

    Are children considered up to 12 years or up to 18 years old?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, those who can be vaccinated almost certainly won’t get the exemption. It’s really for those who cannot be vaccinated yet, so under 12. But to be confirmed when they give more details.

  22. Phil

    Imprisoned in my own country. Crazy! Hey, but it’s for my health and your health too…. right? I may have to claim asylum to the USA. Imagine.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Unfortunately, unless you leave before November 8, the US will not let you in if you are not vaccinated :S

  23. lise theroux

    Bonjour je quitte le 28 octobre pour les Etat – Unis destination Las -Végas avez vous une clinique a me référé sans que cela me coute la peau des fesse j’ai communiqué avex la clinique Lacroix mais hélas plus de place merci

      1. Émilie

        Hey Andrew thanks for your article 🙂
        Can you tell how to “take advantage of the impractical way to fly out of Canada”? Thanks! I really want to get out😅

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, apart from private planes and boats, the other impractical alternative is suspended due to omicron, hopefully it will return. We will keep an eye out.

  24. Toru

    (I rewrote it, because previous one was bit too long, sorry.) Hello. I am a Japanese. I am seriously wondering whether the exemption will be granted to a foreigner who needs to go back to his or her home country.
    According to the recent Canadian government website, the exception will be applied to “the emergency situation”.
    If I need to go back to Japan permanently by a Japanese airline in the future due to the expiry of a student visa. Will it be an emergency exception in the future?
    In the recent Canadian government update, it says the vaccine is required to “all travelers including those who are heading for the foreign destination.
    I would like to know the possibility of the future if possible. As I have a family and property in Japan, I would like to grasp what will happen after October 30.
    Also, if the vaccine is requited even for my boarding, will I still be allowed to return to Japan without being partially vaccinated during the grace period between October 30 to November 30?
    I appreciate if you give me a reply.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Toru, it would be logical to let dual citizens out, but they haven’t given any details about this yet, unfortunately. Not sure there are ANY other countries in the entire world that keep the unvaccinated from even leaving, so it seems extreme. We’ll see.
      As for the grace period, all you need is a test, there is no need to be partially vaccinated, Transport Canada just confirmed it to Flytrippers.

      1. Toru

        Thank you so much for your answer, Andrew. I am so glad to hear that the test remains an option at least until the end of November! I would like to know whether the government really intends to keep the foreigners from returning to their nation or not. It is not normal in light of democratic values, especially human rights. It is very extreme. I contacted with Transport Canada yesterday. However, they don’t give me any reply. I suspect they did not realize the presence of foreigners heading back to their home country. Please let me know if there is any government update .

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Will do for sure, let’s hope they backtrack!

      3. Koen

        I think Australia has banned even foreigners from leaving.

      4. Andrew D'Amours

        Yes, but that is not specific to being vaccinated or not. Everyone is equally punished. They are all back to the country’s roots as a prison colony, not just the unvaccinated 😛

  25. Jenifer

    I was also thinking the mandate wouldn’t apply to private planes (it does say ‘commercial’), but I have heard a lot of people mention they called a bunch of private jet companies and they all said they would follow the mandate. That makes little sense to me, how can a country like Canada prevent people from leaving, especially if they are paying for a private plane?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      The market always provides. I am confident that IF private planes aren’t obligated to require vaccination, someone will offer this for those who aren’t vaccinated. Whether this will last long or be even remotely affordable depends on the demand of course.
      But if the government does impose this requirement to any flight, then no one will offer this of course.

  26. Julien

    I love how this article makes you realize how these laws are passed based on politics rather than science. I wonder if someone flying it’s own private seaplane would be able to fly from a lake since it is not an airport. I wonder if someone would be able to sail its own sailboat since it is not a commercial passenger boat. It seems completely crazy to me that non vaccinated people will be stuck in Canada even if they were to take a pcr test before and after their travels and accept to do a mandatory 14 day quarantine…

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      While I did NOT check thoroughly (since there’s no real added value for our readers and it’s not worth spending hours on that research), I don’t think there is a single country that bans the unvaccinated to leave the country. In the entire world.

      Whether someone is for or against the measure is subjective. But objectively, few (if not zero) other countries in the world feel it’s reasonable to keep unvaccinated people from even leaving. That alone should be enough to be allowed to question this measure.

      But anyway, restricting travel has been popular in public opinion polls since the start, and now restricting the unvaccinated in general is equally popular. So combining both sure makes for a popular measure from a politician’s perspective, and all they will ever care about is politics. Even if indeed, scientifically, having a recent proof of negative test might be as safe in terms of transmission as being vaccinated.

      In all cases, I don’t know if you were serious but the answer is that in theory, private planes will be exempt. Sailboats as well. We’ll await the precise details though.

      1. Cameron

        I’d be 100% thrilled if the antivaxxers left Canada and we only let in vaccinated visitors. Cases would quickly drop to zero with only the unvaccinated kids left to spread covid around.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        I’m not sure that’s quite how COVID works since even us vaccinated folks can get it and spread it, but hey, who cares about the science right 😛

  27. Rose

    Hello! When you put Exemption option with a 72-hour PCR test until November 29
    Does that mean only PCR test or I have to be in process of being fully vaccinated, one vaccine? I’m not vaccinated and not interested to be. Want to travel to Cubs for two months.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, they did not ever specify that you would have to show proof of anything in order to take advantage of the temporary exemption.
      So we interpret the website’s wording more as yet another form of political marketing to appear to be giving an exemption 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.
      There should be no verification, but it remains to be confirmed; Flytrippers reached out to the Government to check, we are awaiting a response.

  28. Ronni

    Question, Can a Canadian get on a flight in the US to fly to Mexico or Puerto Rico in November without a jab? Thanks in advance for a response,

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, if you are already in the US before “early November” (when the US will require vaccination to enter) you can do whatever you want from there, they are certainly not the type of country to accept preventing people from leaving as it seems Canada will do soon. That said, if you leave the US, you won’t be allowed to get back into the US once their vaccination requirement will take effect (so Puerto Rico would be fine).

  29. Tracy

    Hello, I just listened to Health Minister Patty Hajdu press conerence and around the 11 min mark she speaks about vaccination passports being implemented for “domestic” travel.
    I’m just unsure if that is going to be relevant for international flights that first take you to another domestic airport. I’m double vaxxed but I’m not keen on vaccinating my 12 year old yet. We have flights to Mexico from Vancouver via Calgary in December. So I’m really paying attention to this.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, the initial announcement explicitly mentioned for “all commercial flights in Canada” so until we hear otherwise, I doubt international flights will be exempt. But that said, until vaccines are approved for kids, they will not be required to be vaccinated, so that may still be true in December.

  30. Wendy

    Hi Andrew.. thank you for sharing your thoughts 💭
    Yes… I am frustrated with that too..Canada is inviting people from other countries to come to Canada but we are advised not to travel outside of Canada? It doesn’t make sense. Hopefully the world travel situation will get sorted out soon and have a more clear understanding for everyone to understand and for people to travel ( with whatever is needed.. fully vaccinated, pre testing etc) and hope Canada will lift that travel advisories on their website (soon?) oh also hope the USA land border opens too .. lol I just want to travel 🧳 (with out all the uncertainty hassle)

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      We are all looking forward to the advisory being lifted, if only to make credit card travel insurance valid again haha, since that’s the only real impact the advisory has.

  31. Wendy

    Question: when do you think Canada will lift the travel advisories? On their website the advisory is a problem for me to travel because of work, one of the daily question i need to answer is have you travel outside of Canada in the past 14 days? So that means I can not go back to work for 14 days, if I travel. Do you think they will lift it soon or will this be a thing for years to come?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, not for years for sure, but nobody knows when it will be lifted. If travel-related decisions were made with a logical reasoning—which to be very clear, they are most definitely not—the advisory would be lifted soon, because the government now encourages foreigners to travel to Canada for leisure. Why encourage them to come from those countries but discourage Canadians from going to those same countries? But we’ll keep a close eye on this, hopefully it’s coming soon.

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