Vaccine status to be checked randomly at Charlottetown Airport

·2 min read
The CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority says a grace period is running until Nov. 29.  (CBC - image credit)
The CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority says a grace period is running until Nov. 29. (CBC - image credit)

Travellers going through the Charlottetown Airport will now be asked at random to provide proof of vaccination before jetting off on a plane.

As of Oct. 30, Transport Canada now requires all travellers 12 and older in the country to be fully vaccinated before boarding planes, trains or cruise ships.

"If you come to the airport today, you will be required to confirm you are fully vaccinated and you could be asked either by the airline agent or as you go through security to confirm your vaccination status," said Doug Newson, the CEO of the Charlottetown Airport Authority.

There is a grace period until Nov. 29, he said. This means if you are not fully vaccinated you can still travel with a valid COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of travel.

"From a setup perspective, the travellers won't see much difference — it's just that they will be asked those questions and could be asked to show their proof as well."

'Doing random checks'

Newson said the airport had been working with Transport Canada for the last few weeks to ensure the new requirement got rolled out as smoothly as possible.

"For the first phase-in period of the new regulations, they are basically doing random checks to confirm the proof of vaccination," he said.

"Eventually you may see this built right into the ... check-in app that airlines use. But as of today, it's more of a random check for travellers."

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

There will be repercussions for those caught lying, said Newson. But so far everything seems to be going well.

And although he hasn't had a chance to speak with airline staff directly, he said CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) staff told him they have yet to run into a situation where a traveller could not show proof of vaccination.

"It may be an extra step for a few passengers as they go through, but you're typically pulling out your phone or your boarding pass to show confirmation to get on the flight," he said.

"This is one more identification that you may have to provide."

There are certain exemptions to the new requirement. For example, emergencies and travellers needing to reach remote communities.

Newson recommends those with questions about their situation visit the Transport Canada website for additional information.

"There are exemptions, especially in the short term, for people who may be ... here for school and need to head home or are here on vacation," he said.

"At the end of the day, I think in the next few months exemptions will be few and far between. But there are some temporary ones in place."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting