Travellers flying into Toronto Pearson International Airport will soon no longer need to show proof of vaccination or wear a face mask.
The federal government announced Monday that it is dropping all COVID-19 border restrictions under the Quarantine Act for anyone entering Canada at the end of the month.
As of Oct. 1, foreign nationals will not be required to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the country and unvaccinated Canadians will no longer have to isolate when they return home.
There will no longer be random mandatory COVID-19 testing for travellers arriving at the international airport. Submitting public health information through the ArriveCan app will be optional and it will no longer be mandatory to wear a face mask either in the airport or on a flight.
The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), which governs operations at Toronto Pearson airport, said it was pleased with the announcement and hopes it will “ensure that Canada will retake its globally competitive ranking as a travel and tourism hub.”
“Our industry faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic due to strict health measures and regulations that impacted operations,” spokesperson Michelle Silva said.
“Toronto Pearson and its industry partners continue to focus on improving the passenger experience at airports, and we look forward to working with our government partners to address the systemic challenges in the air sector, including labour shortages, modernization of border processes, and the immediate reopening of the Nexus enrollment centre.”
Silva added that while it is too soon to know how these changes will impact the overall experience at Pearson airport, she believes the biggest change will come from the removal of the ArriveCAN app. This could lead to a faster customs process, she said.
Throughout the summer, customers flying through Toronto Pearson Airport complained of long lines, lost baggage and flight delays.
In J.D. Power’s annual customer satisfaction survey, which was released last week, Pearson is among the five worst largest airports in North America. This was cased on factors such as terminal facilities, airport arrival and departure, baggage claim, and security checks.
Both the GTAA and the Mississauga Board of Trade have long called for an end to COVID-19 border measures, arguing the added precautions were slowing down operations amid staffing challenges and businesses in the area were being negatively impacted.
Trevor McPherson, President and CEO of the Mississauga Board of Trade, said he welcomes the lifting of Canada’s COVID -19 travel requirements.
“The international community has recognized that we are now in a different phase of the pandemic, and we are therefore pleased that Canada’s travel health policies will now be in-line with those of the international community,” he said in a statement.
“As we move forward, it is critical that any new pandemic-related measures are informed by the latest available science and that ineffective mandates that present significant challenges for individuals, businesses, and international visitors are avoided at all costs.”