The Union has been receiving a high volume of very destination-specific inquiries about COVID-19 measures.
We are not in a position to publish a bulletin that outlines what the processes, precautions and protections exist by destination because these are all changing on a monthly, weekly and sometimes daily basis. The risk of providing our members information that subsequently changes and becomes out-of-date is high: fines and even imprisonment are sometimes possible consequences for failure to comply with local regulations.
Destination-specific COVID-19 information:
For up-to-date information about your flight and layover, the best place to inform yourself is your globe briefing messages. These will include any important information that has recently been issued, and which the company may not yet have had a chance to send out in a regular bulletin including:
- special processes that may exist on arrival, including screening
- special hotel requirements, including mandatory self-isolation if required and temporary food options
- Other destination-specific safety, health or operational information that may have recently been implemented
General COVID-19 Processes and Precautions at airports:
- Passengers embarking on Air Canada flights, regardless of origin or destination, are required to complete the Transport Canada check-in screening questionnaire.
- All persons on inbound international flights are also now required to fill out the Canadian government’s COVID-19 traveller contact and quarantine questionnaire.
- Within Canada, YUL, YYZ, YYC and YVR were the first airports to roll out secure-zone access point temperature screening by CATSA. This is expected to be implemented at all major Canadian airports by the end of September. Until that time you may still experience temperature checks at the gate at some stations.
- The airline is required to ensure temperature screening is conducted on all inbound flights from international stations, which may be done by the airport authority or company ground staff depending on the local procedures.
General COVID-19 precautions on all layovers:
- The situation and response to COVID-19 may be vastly different depending on destination. The company has been ensuring that crew hotels have what is needed for our members to remain at the hotel premises without having to venture out. It is advisable to stay at the property for the duration of your layover – regardless of destination.
- While on layover it is safest and advisable not to engage in activities that involve social contact or groups. These include taking public transport, visiting crowded sites, going to restaurants, bars or clubs or the gym.
- The threat of COVID-19 is global – it does not end when you step off the aircraft. Crew are advised to take and bring sufficient PPE required for their flight, but also transit to/from the hotel etc. Remember that the crew bus, hotel lobby, nearby restaurants and airports are all places where appropriate PPE and precautions should still be exercised to remain safe.
- Be sure to download the TravelSmart app which provides access to the Department of Global Affairs travel advisories direct to your personal device. Monitor the safety and health advice for your destination and take screenshots of important information.
- Medaire is the contact point for any layover health concerns. If you have any reason to suspect you may have COVID, they should be contacted. They will also attempt to arrange in-hotel treatment for other ailments to the greatest extent possible in order to avoid our members having to travel to local clinics and/or hospitals during COVID.
Should you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to the union by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for general questions or email@example.com for questions outside of business hours that are not an emergency but can’t wait for the next business day.
Melinda Allen & Alex Habib
Component Hotel Committee
Chair, Health & Safety Committee