March 28, 2020


MONTRÉAL, March 28, 2020 In light of the announcement made by the federal government to implement requirements similar to those already in place for Canada’s aviation sector for intercity rail travel in Canada starting March 30, 2020, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) will immediately put the necessary processes in place. 

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, VIA Rail, has been diligently supporting the recommendations and guidelines issued by the Health authorities as well as the federal government. The new measures we are implementing will reinforce our efforts to protect the health and safety of our passengers and employees as we continue to provide the public service in the best possible conditions under those difficult circumstances”, declared Cynthia Garneau, president and Chief executive officer of VIA Rail Canada.

VIA Rail will communicate with passengers as of today, Saturday, March 28, that have existing tickets as well as with passengers making new reservations to ensure that they are advised that a series of health checks will be conducted by VIA Rail employees with customers before boarding our trains. This will include asking simple health question and looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding.

Passengers will be denied boarding our trains if:

  • They are experiencing symptoms similar to a cold or flu (fever, cough, difficulty breathing).
  • They have been denied boarding for travel in the last 14 days due to medical reasons related to COVID-19

In the event the passenger meets one of those criteria, VIA Rail will refuse boarding and travel for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19. VIA Rail will also recommend that the passenger follows guidance from local health authorities.


About VIA Rail

As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail ( and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at