The air travel industry is gearing up as pandemic travel restrictions loosen up in Canada over the weekend.
The lifting of restrictions is set for Saturday, October 1, including the mask requirements along with proof of vaccination, COVID-19 testing and the use of the ArriveCan app.
The Canadian Airports Council says they are looking forward to the return to normal.
“The aviation industry was hard-hit over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been forced to operate under a complicated and constantly shifting series of restrictions and regulations for over two year,” said council president Monette Pasher.
“This decision will also help our industry get back on track to becoming a globally competitive one, which will improve our tourism and travel industry overall.”
The news is welcomed on Vancouver Island with Comox Valley Airport CEO Mike Atkins supporting the statement from the council.
Market Development manager Erin Neely said in a statement to Vista Radio that they had introduced enhanced cleaning and safety measures at the start of the pandemic. She adds the changing restrictions presented a challenge for passengers.
“There was a great deal of confusion for passengers that did not understand that most areas of the Airport and Air Travel are Federally regulated, and as such obligated to comply with Federal orders, despite the relaxation of local and provincial health directives,” said Neely.
Neely says there will not likely be any big changes immediately when restrictions lift on Saturday. However, the airport is hoping more people will return to the skies as regulations level out.
“Passengers will no longer be required to wear masks during air travel, or to be subject to a number of restrictive pandemic health protocols, providing uniform conditions throughout their journey for the first time since the pandemic was announced,” said Neely.
“It is hoped that the relaxation of some of the restrictions for travel will aid in the recovery of International travel, benefitting tourism and other important industries still actively trying to recover to pre-pandemic levels.”