October 30, 2021


Montréal, October 29, 2021 – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is unveiling its mandatory vaccination policy in line with the regulations outlined today by Transport Canada. Via Rail’s comprehensive vaccination policy will require everyone 12-years of age and older on board our trains to show proof of vaccination as of October 30.

To allow passengers time to become fully vaccinated, there will be a one-month transition period during which passengers will be able to travel if they show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel time. This transition period will end on November 30, after which all passengers must be fully vaccinated in order to board our trains. For full details on VIA Rail’s mandatory vaccination policy, as well as all other COVID-19 measures please visit our website.


  • October 30 – Passengers 12-years and older boarding VIA trains must show proof of vaccination or valid COVID-19 molecular test.

  • November 30 – Passengers 12-years and older boarding VIA trains must show proof of full vaccination (COVID-19 molecular tests no longer accepted).

“Protecting the health and safety of our people, our passengers and the public is more than just a main priority, it is a core value deeply rooted in VIA Rail’s culture and a responsibility that we all share,” said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The implementation of this mandatory vaccination policy, in line with directives from the Government of Canada, will provide an added layer of protection against COVID-19, and make our trains safer, so that our passengers can continue to travel with confidence.”

In line with the Government of Canada’s requirements, VIA Rail also developed a mandatory vaccination policy for its employees. Those who have not begun their vaccination process by November 15 will be placed on administrative leave.

Even with these stringent vaccination policies in place on board our trains, all other existing measures implemented by VIA Rail in response to COVID 19 remain in effect. Those include, amongst others, the requirement to wear a mask on our trains, and a pre-boarding health check for every passenger.



Wearing a mask is required at all times in VIA Rail’s stations and on board VIA Rail trains. For the health and safety of all passengers and employees, passengers who do not wear a mask during their trip will be required to disembark the train or will be refused entry upon boarding.

Wearing a mask over the nose and mouth is one more way to protect one another and will help VIA Rail safeguard the travel experience of its passengers and employees. Throughout the pandemic, when VIA Rail has ramped up service levels in the Québec City-Windsor corridor, enhanced health and safety measures introduced during the pandemic have been maintained, including enhanced cleaning, pre-boarding screening of travellers, modified onboard services.

Furthermore, VIA Rail asks that passengers stay informed of public health guidelines and respect those that apply to them and their travel plans, including mandatory vaccination as of October 30. The Corporation also constantly reminds its passengers and employees of the importance of following recommendations from public health authorities and to rigorously follow good hygiene practices (wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of the arm, avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth without first washing their hands).

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

The most recent updates are available on VIA Rail’s website.



As Canada’s national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) 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 nine Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2005. Visit the “About VIA Rail” section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.