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Keeping you up to date

April 23, 2020 -?11:30am

The health and safety of our passengers and employees are, as always, our top priorities. VIA Rail continues to closely monitor the development of COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus), and we remain in close contact with health agencies and the federal government. To support the ongoing efforts deployed by the public health authorities across the country to limit the COVID-19 propagation, including recommendations for social distancing and in order to further reduce health risks to our passengers and employees, we announce a reduction of?our services as well as additional preventive measures.

Passengers are responsible for keeping themselves informed and respecting the public health orders applicable to them, in particular any travel restrictions, as well as restrictions on access to certain health regions still served by VIA Rail, which could be identified at any time as such by the governments of the various provinces and municipalities.

For more information on the orders applicable in different provinces, please refer to the information available on the Government of Canada website at the following address:

VIA Rail's Position on Masks for passengers

  • VIA Rail recognizes that wearing a mask is an additional measure identified by the Public Health Agency of Canada to help reduce the accidental spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets from asymptomatic persons; while wearing a non-medical mask or face covering does not provide protection to the person wearing it, this is an extra measure that all travellers can take to protect those around them, even if they have no symptoms.
  • VIA Rail reminds passengers that wearing a non-medical mask or face covering does not in any way diminish or replace the need to observe the other public health practices aimed to reduce exposure to the virus, especially physical distancing when possible and rigorous hand-washing.
  • Considering measures already taken on board trains to ensure physical distancing between passengers and crew, VIA Rail is not requiring all passengers to wear masks or face covering at this time, except for passengers arriving from international trips who are using the train to get to their place of quarantine or isolation.?
  • Although not mandatory and in a view to limit the risks of propagation of COVID-19, VIA Rail nevertheless recommends to all its passengers to wear a non-medical mask or face covering that covers the nose and the mouth?when travelling on its trains and when it is impossible to respect a distance of separation of 2 metres with others.
  • It is the passengers’ responsibility to bring their non-medical mask or face covering. VIA Rail will not provide masks to passengers, except in some limited circumstances (i.e. for international travellers without mask or face covering or if passengers develop symptoms while en route).

    FACE COVERING FOR TRAVELLERS, for details?click here.


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 any of these criteria, VIA Rail will refuse boarding and travel for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms the passenger’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19.

Travelling by train in Canada? New COVID-19 restrictions in effect, click here.


We’re increasing how often we clean our trains and stations.

We’re distributing antiviral products, such as hand sanitizer, at key points of contact.

Our employees have been trained in additional preventive and reactive measures as recommended by Health Canada.

A dedicated committee is proactively meeting on a regular basis to monitor the level of risk associated with COVID-19 and ensure that appropriate procedures are implemented and communicated to our employees and passengers.

If you choose to change your travel plans, we understand. We’ve extended our cancellation policy to include all travel through November 1, 2020, to allow you to cancel your reservation at any time prior to departure and receive a full refund in addition to not incurring any service charges, regardless of when you purchased your ticket. You can find more information here.

If you would like to cancel your trip for a full reimbursement, click here.

The most effective way to prevent the spread of disease are things you do yourself.

  • Wash your hands often.

  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

  • If you have symptoms similar to a cold or flu (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), you are advised to postpone your travel and we ask that you not board the train. If those symptoms develop on-board, immediately report it to one of our employees.

VIA Rail remains vigilant, and our processes and procedures will continue to evolve to respond to the latest COVID-19 information. We’ll be updating this page regularly. For more details information, please read our FAQs below .

For the latest developments on the outbreak in Canada and the risk to Canadians, please consult the Government of Canada’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage on COVID-19.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in this difficult time, as we continue to adapt to this evolving situation.