We understand there is increasing concern about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) among travellers, employees and the public. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to assess the public health risk associated with COVID-19. Please find links to useful additional information below.

Recent Government Updates

June 3 – Minister Garneau announces new measures for the use of face coverings in the Canadian transportation sector

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced he is expanding the requirements for the use of face coverings by workers and others involved in the transportation system, to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

This approach for workers complements recent regulations and guidelines for passengers to use face coverings in certain circumstances when travelling by air, marine and rail to reduce the risk of the virus transmission. It also puts in place a more a comprehensive approach for face coverings that strengthens the protection of everyone involved in the transportation system.

The measures will be implemented through a combination of mandatory orders and guidance:

  • Expand the existing face covering / non-medical mask requirements beyond passengers to include some flight crew and airport workers.
  • These measures come into effect at noon EDT on June 4, 2020.

June 2 – Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency until June 30

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is extending the provincial Declaration of Emergency to June 30. The decision supports the government’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and protect the health and safety of Ontarians as the province reopens in a measured and responsible way.

May 19 – Canada and United States extend border closure for another 30 days

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada and the United States have agreed to extend the border closure until June 21, 2020. This collaborative and reciprocal measure restricts non-essential travel across the border, including for tourism and recreation.

May 12Declaration of Emergency Extended While Ontario Gradually Reopens the Economy

The Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This additional time will ensure the province has the necessary tools and health care capacity to contain COVID-19, while gradually reopening businesses, services, and amenities safely. Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario Legislature today, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until June 2, 2020.

April 17New measures introduced for non-medical masks or face coverings in the Canadian transportation system

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced new measures requiring all air passengers to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel. These measures come into effect at noon EDT on April 20, 2020.

When travelling by air, travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose:

  • At Canadian airport screening checkpoints, where the screeners cannot always keep two metres of separation between themselves and the traveller;
  • When they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by the airline employees; and
  • When directed to do so by a public health order or public health official.

Aviation passengers on all flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports will also be required to demonstrate they have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process otherwise they will not be allowed to continue on their journey. Passengers should follow the current Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidance on face coverings.

For more information on face covering requirements for air travellers, please click here.

April 14 – Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days until May 12. The extension of the provincial declaration of emergency allows Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as the closure of all non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities such as parks and recreational areas, public places and bars and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and prohibitions against price-gouging.

April 3 – Ontario Extends Business Closures to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

The Ontario Government is very concerned with public safety and following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, made the difficult decision to reduce the list of businesses classified as essential and ordered more workplaces to close. This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available. All businesses not deemed essential by the updated Emergency Order closed effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure is in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves.

The updated essential businesses list can be found here.

March 30Government of Canada announces new domestic transportation measures

In order to manage the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada has announced new restrictions for air travel. All air operators are now required to:

  • Conduct a health check of travellers before they board a flight within Canada or departing from Canada, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Refuse boarding to any passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Notify travellers that they may be subject to provincial or territorial measures at their final destination.

March 25 – New Order Makes Self-Isolation Mandatory for Individuals Entering Canada

The Government of Canada announced that as of midnight, all travellers returning to Canada will be subject to a mandatory self-isolation period of 14 days according to provisions under the Quarantine Act. This will not apply to essential workers.

March 23 – Documents Needed for Air Travel

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and limited access to some provincial and territorial service centres, expired identification documents are temporarily accepted for travel within Canada.

This applies only if:

  • You are travelling by air.
  • You are using domestic air carriers to travel within Canada.
  • Your identification document was issued by a Canadian government.
  • Your identification document expired on March 1, 2020, or after.

This temporary measure is in effect until June 30, 2020.

March 20 – Prime Minister announces temporary border agreement with the United States

The Government of Canada announced that Canada and the United States have agreed to temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border. This collaborative and reciprocal measure between Canada and the United States will restrict non-essential travel across the border, including for tourism and recreation.

March 16 – Prime Minister announces new actions under Canada’s COVID-19 response

All incoming travellers, despite country of origin, will be asked by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers if they are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing or fever. They also will need to acknowledge that they are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they’re arriving from any international location.

The Government of Canada is barring entry to all travellers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.  There will be exceptions for air crew, diplomats and immediate family members of citizens.

The Government of Canada announced new restrictions around air travel to Canada, including a limit on the number of airports accepting international flights in order to enhance screening.

What Hamilton International Airport is Doing

As health and safety is our top priority, Hamilton International is supporting public health practices with additional measures, to enable our passengers, tenants and employees to be vigilant about their health, including:

  • Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas throughout the terminal.
  • Informational messaging displayed throughout the building, reminding travellers of the precautionary measures they can take to prevent the spread of germs and the importance of maintaining a safe distance from others.
  • Treating high-traffic areas and surfaces of the terminal with an anti-microbial shield that kills 99% of germs and remains active to control and prevent the growth of microorganisms. Application commenced on March 17 and was completed on March 20.
  • Installation of floor decals throughout the terminal building to encourage proper physical distancing.
  • Installation of acrylic protective barriers at check-in counters and boarding gates.

Useful Links

Government of Canada

As the lead agency responsible for the response to COVID-19, PHAC is your best resource for the most up to date information on COVID-19.

For the latest Canadian government travel advice and advisories, visit its destination page: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.

For COVID-19 measures, updates, and guidance for aviation issued by Transport Canada, please visit: https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/initiatives/covid-19-measures-updates-guidance-tc/aviation.html 

Ontario https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-4

City of Hamilton https://www.hamilton.ca/public-health/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-covid-19

Airline Advisories

Please review your airline’s travel advisory prior to travel.

Air Transat  airtransat.com/en-CA/travel-information/coronavirus

Sunwing  sunwing.ca/en/promotion/packages/travel-advisory/

Swoop flyswoop.com/coronavirus/, flyswoop.com/covid-19-impacted-flights/

WestJet  westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/coronavirus, blog.westjet.com/operational-updates-coronavirus-covid-19/

Hamilton International Airport Service Summary

Please note the latest operating updates from airline partners at Hamilton International Airport for the months of April and May as follows:

Effective April 12 through June 30, Swoop will be operating eight (8) flights per week servicing Halifax and Edmonton (with additional flights available onwards to Abbotsford). Please check Swoop’s website flyswoop.com for flight details.

Effective May 8 through July 4, WestJet will operate two (2) days per week to Calgary. Please check WestJet’s website westjet.com for flight details.

For information regarding international and transborder service from Hamilton International Airport, please refer to the links below:

March 17
Sunwing refocuses operations on repatriating Canadians

March 18
Transat announces a gradual suspension of its flights

March 19
Swoop suspends all international and transborder flights

What You Can Do

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, PHAC recommends following the same precautionary measures as you would to help prevent the spread of cold or flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
  • If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands to avoid germ transfer.

Last Updated: June 3, 2020