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Rail News: Security

Canada requires passenger health screenings on intercity rail

The Canadian government requires intercity passenger-rail companies, like VIA Rail, to screen passengers for COVID-19 symptoms.
Photo – VIA Rail Canada Inc.


The Canadian government today implemented new requirements for intercity passenger-rail companies to follow to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the new measures, intercity passenger railroads are required to screen passengers for COVID-19 symptoms before they board a train, and refuse riders who present those symptoms from boarding.

The health screening will include rail company representatives asking simple health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding and recommending the passenger follow guidance from local health authorities, government officials said in a press release.

If a rider is denied boarding, the decision will remain in effect for of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller's symptoms are not related to COVID-19.

Intercity passenger-rail operators subject to the new measures include Amtrak, VIA Rail Canada Inc., Great Canadian Railtour Co. Ltd., Keewatin Railway Co., White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad and Transport Ferroviaire Tshiuetin Inc.

The measures do not apply to commuter trains.

Meanwhile, U.S. passenger-rail agencies updated service and took other measures related to COVID-19. Following are the latest announcements: