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COVID-19: Preventive measures

We're moving with you

 

The safe way to travel together

Helping you travel has always been at the heart of everything we do. And now that you’re ready to start moving again, we’ll continue to be there for you. Keeping you moving in safe, smart and thoughtful ways, because your peace of mind is on our minds. With all of us doing our part, we can all move forward.

The health and safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority. That is why we have made changes to our services and implemented preventive health measures.

Stress-free booking options

Flexible booking

With flexible booking, you can cancel your reservation at any time prior to departure. You’ll receive a full refund and incur zero service charges, regardless of when you purchased your ticket.

See our refund policy for full details.

Limited bookings

We’re limiting the number of seats that we sell on most of our trains to help us keep some distance between passengers, to the extent possible. However, if you’re travelling on one of our busier trains, it’s possible that you’ll be seated next to someone.

Your seat will be assigned only as you board, and not when you book. Therefore, please ignore the seat number indicated on your boarding pass.

Get up to date service status

Helping you travel is at the heart of everything we do. Although it will take some time for our normal operations to resume from coast to coast, we’re looking forward to welcoming you back on board with our current service. Before booking, check the latest and most up to date information regarding our current train service.

Travelling between regions: Things to know

Certain provincial or municipal travel restrictions may prevail in the regions we serve. We ask that passengers stay informed of public health guidelines and respect those that apply to them and their travel plans. Working together helps us all move forward.

For more information on current provincial guidelines, please consult the Government of Canada’s website.

Contact-free travel

We recommend that you purchase your tickets online. If you must buy your tickets at one of our stations or en route, please note that you will have to pay by regular or prepaid credit card (AMEX, Visa or Mastercard) or with a VIA Rail gift card.

What to expect in our stations

Baggage service

Our usual carry-on baggage assistance service will only be offered for passengers with disabilities and/or limited mobility. We ask you to store your carry-on in the overhead bin above your seat.

Checked baggage service is temporarily suspended within the Quebec-Windsor Corridor, but continues to be offered on all other VIA routes, as specified in our temporary schedules.

Enhanced sanitary measures

  • Cleaning and disinfection of stations 
  • Stricter protocols for high-contact areas: door handles, handrails, washrooms, etc.
  • Distribution of hand sanitizers at key points of contact

The cleaning products we use have been approved by Health Canada and effectively eliminate the COVID-19 virus.

Health checks: What we do

Our employees will conduct a health check before passengers are permitted to board our trains. This will involve asking simple health questions and looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding.

If you have cold- or flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), we ask that you postpone your travel plans and not board the train. If you develop symptoms on board, let one of our employees know immediately. As recommended by Health Canada, our employees have been trained on additional preventive and reactive measures.

Wearing a mask is required

All passengers must wear a mask at all times in our stations and on board our trains, except when eating or drinking. Masks are now mandatory at all times for all employees on trains and in stations. Please note that for the health and safety of all passengers and employees, boarding will be denied to passengers not wearing a mask, and passengers will be detrained if they refuse to wear a mask during the trip.

Young children and people with breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19 are exempt from this preventive measure.

Measures to keep you safe on board

Enhanced cleaning protocols

  • Regular and thorough cleaning of all hard surfaces: washrooms, tray tables, armrests, doors, etc.
  • Deployment of additional onboard employees to sanitize our trains while in operation
  • Distribution of hand sanitizers at key points of contact

The products we use daily have been approved by Health Canada and effectively eliminate the COVID-19 virus.

Meal service

We will serve all passengers a complimentary snack and water. However, our complete meal and beverage service is suspended on all our routes.

Passengers with dietary restrictions are asked to plan accordingly.

Face masks: Protect others

In our stations and on board our trains, all passengers will be required to wear a mask or face covering at all times. The mask may be temporarily removed for eating or drinking. Masks are now mandatory for all employees at all times on trains and in-station.

Young children and people with breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19 are exempt from this preventive measure.

Keeping some distance

On board, we ask all passengers to maintain enough distance between each other and from our employees. To help everyone respect physical distancing measures when travelling, we’ve reduced the number of seats that can be occupied per train car. However, if you’re travelling on one of our busier trains, it’s possible that you’ll be seated next to someone.

Passenger checklist

Here’s what you can do to travel safely:

  • Practise physical distancing during your journey. Signs have been put up in our busiest stations to indicate safe distances in high-traffic areas.
  • Face masks are required in our stations, at boarding and on our trains at all times. Facial coverings can be removed when eating or drinking.
  • Check your itinerary before going to the station using our Arrivals and departures schedule.
  • Make sure to prepare snacks and meals for your trip: all passengers will receive a complimentary snack and water, but no other food or beverage service will be offered. Passengers with dietary restrictions are asked to plan accordingly.
  • Ignore the seat number indicated on your boarding pass. A VIA Rail agent will let you know where to sit as you board.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly.

Answers to your questions

We’ll be updating this section regularly to answer your questions.

For the latest developments on the outbreak in Canada and the risk to Canadians, please consult the FAQ section of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 website.

The pleasure of safe travel

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