Canadian authorities allow airlines operating on Canadian territory to grant temporary exemptions, in properly defined circumstances, to the submission of the complete COVID-19 vaccination plan by unvaccinated passengers.
These exemptions apply to:
- Passengers who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, or registered under the Canada Indian Act, traveling out of Canada.
- Foreign nationals departing from Canada. However, unvaccinated foreign nationals are generally allowed to leave the country if they provide the necessary evidence to demonstrate that the purpose of their trip is to exit Canada (e.g., itinerary), along with their foreign credentials (e.g., foreign passport, temporary visa).
IMPORTANT NOTE: These exemptions do not apply to passengers who intend to enter Canada. Check the restrictions and measures adopted by the authorities for entry into Canada here.
Available temporary exemptions
Temporary exemptions from submitting the complete COVID-19 vaccination plan by unvaccinated passengers traveling out of Canada apply only in the following situations:
- Medical inability to be vaccinated
- Essential medical services and treatment
- Sincere religious belief
How to request a temporary exemption
- Proof of medical inability
To receive a temporary exemption from the mandatory vaccination requirement, passengers must submit to Azores Airlines a completed temporary exemption form due to medical inability, available in English here, which has been signed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner licensed to practice in a Canadian province or territory.
Temporary exemption requests due to medical inability must be submitted 21 days before the flight departure date.
- Essential Medical Services or Treatment (e.g., booked medical appointment)
Passengers must submit to Azores Airlines a completed temporary exemption form completed and signed by a licensed medical doctor or nurse practitioner to receive a temporary exemption from the mandatory vaccination requirement. This form is available in English here and must be completed and submitted 14 days before the flight departure date.
Medical doctors or nurse practitioners may indicate that an escort or travel companion is required to accompany the passenger traveling for an essential medical service or treatment.
The approval provided by Azores Airlines will be valid for the length of the return trip. A new completed form is required for new trips.
- Sincere Religious Belief
Requests to travel with a temporary exemption due to religious conviction must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All requests made by the passengers need to demonstrate that:
- the belief is religious in nature,
- the belief prevents full vaccination, and
- the belief is sincerely held.
To be temporarily exempt from the mandatory vaccination requirement, passengers must submit to the operators a form, available in English here, that includes a sworn, solemn oath of conviction co-signed by a Commissioner of Oaths. This must be completed and submitted 21 days before the flight departure date.
The completed temporary exemption form is valid for the passenger's complete journey (i.e., booked return trip).
Passengers are required to reconfirm their religious conviction by submitting a new form for any new trips.
The applicable form, once completed by the passenger, must be delivered, with the appropriate advance period, to a SATA Azores Airlines Sales Office or Counter, the Contact Center (through the email address email@example.com), or a Travel Agent.
After Azores Airlines has reviewed your request for a temporary exemption, you will be informed by the airline or your Travel Agent of its outcome.
Passengers must carry the completed exemption form and proof of acceptance/approval from Azores Airlines with them during their travel journey.
As this documentation must be provided to the airline at check-in, multiple copies may be required.
Please note that temporary exemptions due to Medical Inability, Essential Medical Services or Treatment, or Sincere Religious Beliefs are airline-specific. In other words, a temporary exemption by one airline does not automatically allow the passenger to connect with a different airline or to transfer modes (e.g., from train to plane or from one airline to the next). If your trip involves different carriers operating within Canada, you will need to request a temporary exemption from each of the carriers involved.
NOTE: Passengers with temporary exemptions due to Medical Inability, Essential Medical Services or Treatment or Sincere Religious Belief will require a valid COVID-19 test result before boarding.
More information is available here.