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As we enter the third week of practicing social distancing and self-isolation, Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) continues to monitor developments related to the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. The safety of our passengers, meeters and greeters and airport staff remains our top priority.
We continue to be in close contact with our federal government partners with regard to this issue. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is continuously monitoring the risk of COVID-19 and the risk to Canadians is now considered high.
For the most accurate and up-to-date information on the COVID-19 situation, please visit PHAC's website here. Additionally, PHAC has established a toll-free COVID-19 information line at: 1-833-784-4397.
Important note: if you have any concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider or dial 8-1-1 if you’re in British Columbia.
Information for Travellers
The Government of Canada is advising against ALL non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Non-essential travel refers to all travel of an optional or discretionary nature, including but not limited to tourism, recreation and/or entertainment.
Those choosing to travel will self-isolate for 14-days upon returning to Canada.Mandatory 14-day isolation in effect for travellers arriving into Canada.
Canadians Abroad In Need of Emergency Assistance
Canada has active COVID-19 travel advisories and several restrictions now in place and travellers are asked to consult the destination page at travel.gc.ca for the latest travel advisories. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning.
Effective March 21, the Canada and U.S. border is closed to all non-essential travel. Canadian airlines are modifying and cancelling service so travellers are advised to contact their airline directly for more information to determine options for cancelling or postponing your plans.
Effective, March 26, 2020 Canadians returning from travel outside of Canada MUST self-isolate for 14 days under the Quarantine Act. If you have any symptoms at all of a cold or influenza, even if they're mild, stay away from others. If you have been to areas, particularly where we know there has been transmission of COVID-19, then call your health care provider, or 8-1-1.
Effective, March 30, 2020, the Government of Canada introduced new domestic travel measures to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. These measures require all air operators to conduct a health check of travellers before they board an aircraft with 10 or more seats travelling within Canada. Air operators are also now required to refuse boarding to any passenger who presents COVID-19 symptoms.
Minister of Transport has issued an Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights in Canada due to COVID-19,
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are still abroad are urged to make arrangements to return to Canada as commercial flights are reduced.
According to information from the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) at YYJ, the following is what is occurring regarding the arrival screening of transborder and international passengers.
- Two CBSA Officers are deployed at aircraft parking stand to assess passengers getting off the aircraft. They may use information from air crew as part of their assessment.
- For passengers with symptoms (cough, fever or difficulty breathing)
- CBSA provides a mask to the passenger
- Passenger is placed into an isolation room
- CBSA contacts Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
- PHAC may direct passenger to a medical facility or self-isolation
- Non-residents will be placed into a PHAC facility for isolation
- No public transportation will be permitted, and
- PHAC will conduct follow-up investigations
Passengers without symptoms are directed to customs where CBSA will ask for their travel history and observe for symptoms. If a passenger is identified for isolation, the procedures listed above will be applied.
All passengers are advised and provided documentation detailing mandatory 14-day isolation under the Quarantine Act and no public transportation is permitted for those with symptoms.
Passengers must acknowledge they understand terms of isolation.
CATSA, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority under direction from Transport Canada is temporarily permitting additional 350ml of hand sanitizer through security screening. Passengers may be asked to surrender it upon arrival international destinations.
What is VAA doing?
VAA is continuing to closely monitoring the situation and continuously assessing our plans to manage the impact of COVID-19 in our airport.
Steps we have taken include:
- Working with our contracted custodial team to increase surface cleaning and sanitization in all high traffic areas and washrooms. We're including the use of a concentrated probiotic cleaner which remains active for several days and enhances the efficiency of disinfectants.
- Deploying more hand sanitizing station throughout the terminal building and adjusting all automated water taps in restrooms to run for 20 seconds, the recommended time to wash hands.
- Physical distancing measures are in place. Signage and stanchions have been placed at the recommended 2-metre distance marks at all check-in and gate counters.
- If you are picking someone up at the airport, park for FREE in the Short Term Lot and please wait in your vehicle. If you must go into the terminal to assist a travellers, please send only one person and limit social contact. Please only enter the building if necessary and remember not to leave your vehicle unattended at the curb.
- Continuing to stay in contact with public health officials federally and provincially to ensure we are receiving the latest updates to keep our travellers, airport partners and employees informed.
- Please access the many resources available to stay informed and follow the advice of healthcare professionals.
VAA will respond and implement any additional measures as and when they are issued.
Status of Services at YYJ
- Our Red Coat Volunteer Information is closed until further notice.
- YYJ is operating with very reduced food and retail services. The only food service available until further notice is the pre-security Tim Hortons which is open from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. There is NO food service available beyond the security checkpoint.
- The pre-security retail store, Breakwater Boutique is closed until further notice.
- The post-security retail store, Harbourwalk Shops is open from 6:00 am - 9:00 am & 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm.
- YYJ Airport Shuttle has ceased operations until further notice.
- BC Transit is also adjusting to the fluid situation daily. They do expect cancellations of some trips for the foreseeable future. Schedules can be checked here. Fares will be free until April 19, 2020.
We're also continuing to work closely with our airline and concession partners who are also working very hard to navigate these challenging times. Our airlines have significantly reduced their flight schedules at YYJ and our food and beverage and retail services have also been reduced based on the decreased demand.
What You Can Do
Everyone has a role to play to protect themselves and those around them. The most important precautionary measures being emphasized is to practice good personal hygiene, practice physical distancing and eliminate close contact with anyone that is feeling ill.
The following precautions used to prevent the spread of a cold or flu are being recommended by the PHAC to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20-seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection.
- If a sink is not available, alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them.
- Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough.
- High frequency cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces.
- Not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
- Practice 2-metre physical distancing from one another.
If you are sick yourself, please stay away from others, go home and self-isolate. Contact your health-care provider or call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1- so you can be safely assessed. VAA will continue to work closely with federal and provincial health authorities as well as our airport partners to provide updates as they become available.
As the lead agency responsible for the response to COVID-19, PHAC is the best resource for the most up to date information.
- Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) NEW COVID-19 Information Line 883-784-4397
- Government of Canada Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel advice
- BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC)
- COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool
- COVID-19 Common Questions
- HealthLink 8-1-1
- 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319)
- Travel Advice and Advisories
- Aviation Measures in Response to COVID-19
Stay informed by following PHAC's Twitter feed.