Via Rail has announced some changes to its services to protect against COVID-19 as more residents begin travelling.
Starting Tuesday, June 23, all passengers will be required to wear a mask while aboard Via Rail trains, as well as at the stations when physical distancing isn’t possible.
Masks are also mandatory for all employees on trains and in-station when physical distancing isn’t possible.
According to Via Rail, the mask may be temporarily removed for eating or drinking. Young children and people with breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19 will be exempt from needing to wear a mask.
Enhanced sanitary measures have also been announced, including the cleaning and disinfection of stations up to twice a day, stricter protocols for high-risk areas at stations (door handles, handrails, washrooms, etc.), regular and thorough cleaning of all hard surfaces on trains (washrooms, tray tables, armrests, doors, etc.), and more onboard employees to sanitize the trains while they’re running.
Employees will conduct a health check before passengers are permitted to board the train, which will mainly involve asking simple health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Those with cold or flu-like symptoms are asked to postpone their travel plans and not board the train.
“The health and safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority. That is why we have made changes to our services and implemented preventive health measures,” said Via Rail.
As for meal service, Via Rail says it will serve all passengers a complimentary snack and water, but has suspended its complete meal and beverage service on all routes.
For more information on what changes to expect, visit Via Rail’s website.