Mandatory Vaccination Requirements for COVID-19 — Federally Regulated Transportation Sector and Its Travellers

Recently, UCTE responded in an article on our website to the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for CPA as well as to important published information on Federal and Provincial Vaccination Policies and Human Rights in Canada. A new announcement has been posted on the Federal Government website regarding the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements for employees in the federally regulated transportation sector, and travellers.

Employees and Employers

On October 6, it was announced that all employees and employers in the federally regulated air, rail and marine transportation sectors and travellers will be required to be vaccinated as of October 30, 2021. The requirements apply to:

  • airlines and airports, and other organizations who have employees who enter restricted areas of airports, such as concession and hospitality workers
  • federally regulated railways, and their rail crew and track employees
  • marine operators with Canadian vessels that operate with 12 or more crew[1]

Following is the policy organizations will be required to put in place:

  • Include a provision for employee attestation/declaration of their vaccination status;
  • Include a description of consequences for employees who do not comply or who falsify information; and
  • Meet standards consistent with the approach taken by the Government of Canada for the Core Public Administration.[2]


All travellers accessing Canadian airports, and passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains will be required to be fully vaccinated. The Federal Government will allow a short transition period during which people may travel if they present proof of a valid molecular test for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to travel.

If travellers have not yet started their vaccination process, or will not start soon, they run the risk of not being able to travel from the date of November 30. The vaccination requirements will apply to all travellers aged 12 years and over who are:

  • Air passengers flying on domestic, transborder or international flights departing from airports in Canada
  • Rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains
  • Marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages of 24 hours or more [3]

With rare exception, some special accommodation will be provided, whether for medical reasons or for travel to areas not accessible by road.

In short, air, rail and sea transportation will be available for fully vaccinated people. On August 11, 2021, the Federal Government announced that it was moving forward with a Canada-wide proof of vaccination for international travel. UCTE is looking forward to see what will happen in the reopening for our members in these sectors. We will keep you posted on further updates.

For more information on the Federal Government’s announcement:

Canada-wide proof of vaccination for international travel:




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