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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.

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 that we will continue to adapt to help curb the pandemic and meet your needs.

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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 therefore be assigned only as you board, and not when you book. If there’s a seat number indicated on your boarding pass, please ignore it.

Service status

We’re looking forward to welcoming you back on board.

Before booking, check the latest and most up-to-date information regarding our current train service.

Check service status

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 This link open a windowThis link open a window.

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. Cash is now accepted at staffed stations in the Corridor.

Face mask: protecting others

Safety first

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. 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.

Exemptions

Young children under the age of two are exempt from this preventive measure. Also exempt are individuals with a medical condition or disability that makes it difficult to wear a mask, as long as they can provide an official medical certificate along with an identification card (with or without a photo).

View medical certificate requirements

Masks allowed

  • Medical mask
  • Non-medical mask with the following criteria:
  • made with multiple layers of tightly woven material (e.g., cotton or linen);
  • large enough to cover your nose, your mouth and you chin completely, without gaps;
  • secured to the face with ties or ear loops.

Masks not allowed

  • Masks with tears or holes
  • Single-layer masks
  • Plastic masks
  • Masks with exhalation valves
  • Scarves or bandanas
  • Face shields (can only be used in addition to a mask)

What to expect in our stations and on our trains

Enhanced sanitary measuress

We have implemented stricter cleaning protocols in our stations and on our trains. For everyone’s safety, our employees will clean and disinfect common spaces throughout your trip.

  • Thorough cleaning and disinfection of stations and of all hard surfaces on board (washrooms, tray tables, armrests, doors, etc.)
  • 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.

Baggage service

Our usual carry-on baggage assistance service is only offered for passengers with disabilities and/or limited mobility. On board, we ask that you store any carry-ons in the overhead bin above your seat.

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

Maintaining 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.

Meal service

Business class meal service is back, with some slight changes. Full food cart service is also available once again for passengers in Economy class.

More details

Health checks: What we do

Our employees conduct a health check before passengers are permitted to board our trains. This mainly involves 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.

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, during boarding, and on our trains at all times. Facial coverings can be temporarily removed when eating or drinking and must immediately be put back on afterwards.
  • Check your itinerary before going to the station using our Arrivals and departures schedule.
  • Snacks and meals for your trip: Business class meal service is back with some slight changes. Full food cart service is once again available in Economy class. Make sure to bring a regular or prepaid credit card (AMEX, Visa or Mastercard) or a VIA Rail gift card, as these are the only methods of payment accepted on board.
  • Your seat will be assigned only as you board, and not when you book your ticket. If there’s a seat number indicated on your boarding pass, please ignore it. A VIA Rail agent will let you know where to sit when you board.
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly.
  • Travelling in Western Canada? Learn more about the changes made to our services on board the Canadian.

Answers to your questions

We update this section regularly to answer your questions.

See all our FAQs

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

Potential exposure to COVID-19

Being aware that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 can help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and the community. To help stop the spread of the virus, download the COVID Alert app, available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

If you’ve travelled recently, you can check your flight, cruise, or train trip on the Government of Canada’s website to see if you may have been exposed to the virus in the past 14 days.

The pleasure of safe travel

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