Beginning of the main content.

COVID-19: Preventive measures

We're moving with you

?

The safe way to travel together

Helping you travel has always been at the heart of everything we do. And now that you’re ready to start moving again, we’ll continue to be there for you. Keeping you moving in safe, smart and thoughtful ways, because your peace of mind is on ours. With all of us doing our part, we can all move forward. We’re moving with you.

The health and safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority. That is why we have made changes to our services and implemented preventive health measures.

Stress-free booking options

Flexible booking

With flexible booking, you can cancel your reservation at any time prior to departure. You’ll receive a full refund and incur zero service charges, regardless of when you purchased your ticket.

See our refund policy for full details.

Limited bookings

We have limited the number of seats that can be sold aboard our trains to ensure that passengers have the space they need to respect physical distancing measures when travelling. It is therefore possible that the seat number indicated on your boarding pass will not apply. A VIA Rail agent will show you to your seat once you’ve boarded the train.

Contact-free travel

We recommend that you purchase your tickets online. If you must buy your tickets at one of our stations or en route, please note that you will have to pay by regular or prepaid credit card (AMEX, Visa or Mastercard) or with a VIA Rail gift card.

Travelling between regions: Things to know

Certain provincial or municipal travel restrictions may prevail in the regions we serve. We ask that passengers stay informed of public health guidelines and respect those that apply to them and their travel plans. Working together helps us all move forward.

For more information on current provincial guidelines, please consult the Government of Canada’s website.

What to expect in our stations

Baggage service

Our usual carry-on baggage assistance service will only be offered for passengers with disabilities and/or limited mobility.

Checked baggage service is temporarily suspended on all routes, with the following two exceptions: Sudbury-White River and Winnipeg-Churchill.

Enhanced sanitary measures

  • Cleaning and disinfection of stations up to twice a day
  • Stricter protocols for high-risk areas: door handles, handrails, washrooms, etc.
  • Distribution of hand sanitizers at key points of contact

The cleaning products we use have been approved by Health Canada and effectively eliminate the COVID-19 virus.

Health checks: What we do

Our employees will conduct a health check before passengers are permitted to board our trains. This will mainly involve asking simple health questions and looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding.

If you have cold- or flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), we ask that you postpone your travel plans and not board the train. If you develop symptoms on board, let one of our employees know immediately. As recommended by Health Canada, our employees have been trained on additional preventive and reactive measures.

Wearing a mask is required

In our stations, starting June 23, masks will be required at all times when it is impossible to maintain a sufficient distance from others, with the exception of when passengers are eating or drinking. Masks are now mandatory for all employees at all times on trains and in-station, when sufficient physical distance cannot be maintained.

Young children and people with breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19 are exempt from this preventive measure.

Measures to keep you safe on board

Enhanced cleaning protocols

  • Regular and thorough cleaning of all hard surfaces: washrooms, tray tables, armrests, doors, etc.
  • Deployment of additional onboard employees to sanitize our trains while in operation
  • Distribution of hand sanitizers at key points of contact

The products we use daily have been approved by Health Canada and effectively eliminate the COVID-19 virus.

Meal service

We will serve all passengers a complimentary snack and water. However, our complete meal and beverage service is suspended on all our routes.

Passengers with dietary restrictions are asked to plan accordingly.

Face masks: Protect others

On board our trains, starting June 23, all passengers will be required to wear a mask or face covering. The mask may be temporarily removed for eating or drinking. Masks are now mandatory for all employees at all times on trains and in-station, when sufficient physical distance cannot be maintained.

Young children and people with breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19 are exempt from this preventive measure.

Keeping some distance

On board, we ask all passengers to maintain enough distance between each other and from our employees. To help everyone respect physical distancing measures when travelling, we’ve reduced the number of seats that can be occupied per train car.

Passenger checklist

Here’s what you can do to travel safely:

  • Practise physical distancing during your journey. Signs have been put up in our busiest stations to indicate safe distances in high-traffic areas.
  • Face masks are required on our trains and in our stations when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Facial coverings can be removed when eating or drinking.
  • Check your itinerary before going to the station using our Arrivals and departures schedule.
  • Make sure to prepare snacks and meals for your trip: all passengers will receive a complimentary snack and water, but no other food or beverage service will be offered. Passengers with dietary restrictions are asked to plan accordingly.
  • Ignore the seat number indicated on your boarding pass. A VIA Rail agent will show you to your seat once you’ve boarded.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly.
  • Use a contactless payment method: only regular and prepaid credit cards (AMEX, Visa and Mastercard) and VIA Rail gift cards will be accepted as methods of payment on board.

Answers to your questions

We’ll be updating this section regularly to answer your questions.

For the latest developments on the outbreak in Canada and the risk to Canadians, please consult the FAQ section of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 website.

Share your train travel memories with us

viarail
Go to main navigation