Air Travel Update: Toronto Pearson Says Be Ready for Delays as Increased Passenger Numbers Expected

Air Travel

With the re-opening of the border for non-essential travels by fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents on August 9 at 12:01 a.m. EDT, Pearson is anticipating interest in air travel to increase. While Pearson is working closely with airlines and government agencies to find every efficiency possible, it may take longer to pass through the airport due to additional health screenings for COVID-19. The entire airport community is working together to ensure that passenger and employee health and safety remain the top priority.

Departing passengers

Just like before the pandemic, departing passengers should give themselves lots of time when arriving for their flight. Passengers departing on domestic flights are advised to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before their flight time. Passengers on departing international flights will want to arrive at least three hours in advance. Passengers should be prepared to answer additional questions from their airline and present them with any additional documents they may require. Passengers should confirm the specific requirements that apply to their destination in advance with their airline.

To help save time, passengers can check-in online from home and then use a contactless kiosk to print their luggage tags.

Arriving passengers

For international passengers, they should be prepared to wait three hours or more to complete the arrivals process due to COVID-19 screening requirements, depending on their unique set of circumstances. If a flight arrives during peak hours, passengers may be asked to disembark the aircraft and proceed to an area of the terminal building to wait until space becomes available in the customs hall. When going through customs, passengers will be required to answer additional health questions. Passengers arriving from international destinations should remember to submit all required information in ArriveCAN (app or website) prior to arrival in Canada. This includes travel, contact and quarantine information. Fully vaccinated travellers must also provide proof of vaccination in English or French. Travellers using the App must ensure that they have the most up-to-date version available in the Google Play Store and the App Store for iPhone.

Finally, Travellers eligible to enter Canada continue to be required to have a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test result.

Health measures in place

  • Wearing a mask is mandatory for all passengers and airport employees in all areas of the terminal.
  • Access to the terminals is limited to passengers with a boarding pass or to those whose itinerary involves same-day travel and to airport employees only.
  • Enhanced cleaning measures are in place and our HVAC systems have been outfitted with high-grade filters and UV light to kill pathogens.
  • All passengers who are not fully vaccinated are required to test at the airport before leaving. Fully vaccinated travellers will not need to be tested upon arrival unless they are randomly selected by the Government to complete an arrival test.
  • COVID-19 testing services are available at Toronto Pearson. The tests, conducted by Switch Health, are available to both departing passengers and members of the community who aren’t travelling but need access to testing services. Consumers and passengers can book tests in advance via Switch Health’s booking portal:

The Government of Canada recognizes that in some areas of the airport, physical distancing of two metres may not be possible. In these cases, the Government of Canada suggests a “layered” approach with multiple protective measures—including mask wearing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and ventilation systems—in accordance with published guidance. Toronto Pearson’s Healthy Airport program employs such a layered approach. To learn more, please visit

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