November 4, 2021 | Circular No. 11335

Dear Member,

Further to CL 11331 regarding the new requirement (effective October 30th) for departing crew members to either be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before boarding, please note the following points of clarification:

  • Proof of a negative Covid-19 test for crew members who are not fully vaccinated is required as a condition of boarding any flight in Canada, whether domestic or international.
  • Therefore, non-vaccinated crew members who must take a domestic flight (e.g. Hamilton to Montreal) in order to connect to an international flight at another Canadian airport (e.g.  Montreal to Rotterdam), MUST be tested prior to boarding the initial domestic flight (e.g. Hamilton), or they will denied boarding for that flight.
  • Crew members do not need to be re-tested at the connecting Canadian airport (e.g. Montreal) provided they board the connecting flight within 72 hours of the initial test having been taken, and provided they have not left the restricted area of the connecting airport.
  • Therefore, longer stopovers at the location of the connecting flight should be avoided, as this may result in the need for additional testing.

Please note that in order to be considered fully vaccinated, a crew member must have received the full series of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines accepted by the government of Canada at least 14 days prior to having entered Canada.  Currently accepted vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD and Johnson & Johnson.  Documentation confirming such vaccination must be provided in English, French or with a certified translation.

The revised Ship Safety Bulletin announcing the new testing requirements for departing crew members can be found HERE (refer to the section entitled “International Crew Changes”).  The bulletin also announces a change to the previous shore leave policy, under which fully vaccinated seafaers can extend shore leave beyond the six hours that is permitted for all seafarers (refer to the section entitled “Shore Leave for Seafarers onboard Foreign Vessels).

We will incorporate all of the above into our updated checklist for crew members, which we will provide to members very shortly (we are still awaiting clarification from Transport Canada regarding a few outstanding questions).  Given that these new requirements have been rolled out very quickly (mostly under the direction of Transport Canada’s aviation division), we appreciate members’ patience as we work to fully understand their implications for marine sector workers.

Members with questions or comments on any of the foregoing – or who need additional clarification on any specific points – shoud contact the undersigned.


Karen Kancens
Vice President