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Flying in Canada? You’ll have to be fully vaccinated even if you’re traveling domestically

Oct. 06, 2021
3 min read
Flying in Canada? You’ll have to be fully vaccinated even if you’re traveling domestically
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As the United States debates whether to require air travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, our neighbor to the north just implemented a sweeping vaccination policy for travel.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Oct. 6 that all people 12 and older traveling by rail or air in Canada must be fully vaccinated before boarding. This is not entirely new, as I reported back in August that Canada would require proof of vaccination for air and rail travel. But what is new is that travelers finally have a date for when the order goes into effect: Oct. 30.

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Travelers leaving from Canadian airports, as well as those traveling by Via Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, will be required to be fully vaccinated, with very limited exceptions. Those exceptions, the government says, include those in remote, fly-in communities, emergency travel and exceptional medical reasons.

Trudeau also said a “short transition period” when unvaccinated travelers will be able to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test would end on Nov. 30.

"Vaccines are the best way to keep each other safe," Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in the statement. "Requiring travellers and employees to be vaccinated ensures that everyone who travels and works in the transportation industry will better protect each other and keep Canadians safe.”

The news comes just two months after Canada reopened to vaccinated Americans after a 17-month border closure. Americans who are fully vaccinated can finally enter Canada for tourism or other nonessential purposes by air and land so long as they pack a negative PCR test. The U.S. will reopen for vaccinated international air travelers in November, but notably, the land border between the U.S. and Canada remains shut except for essential reasons.

The U.S. is mired in its own debate about requiring proof of vaccination for domestic travel, which is gaining steam in Washington.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, introduced a bill last week that would require all passengers on domestic flights to be fully vaccinated or have proof they’ve recently tested negative or have fully recovered from COVID-19. And the White House’s top infectious disease expert said in September he would support a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel.

For now, the White House doesn't appear to be close to mandating vaccines for travel.

Several airlines have already begun requiring their employees to be vaccinated or have a medical or religious exemption. Those who don’t comply with the order face termination.

But as I’ve written before, requiring proof of vaccination in the U.S. would likely get backlash from the travel industry, which has long pushed back against any mandate. However, even if the industry isn’t keen on the idea, several studies indicate most Americans are.

Featured image by (Photo by JL IMAGES / Shutterstock.com)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases