Eight travel tips to know this holiday season at YWG

Manitobans who are looking to get away for the holidays this year need to be prepared for a new travel experience at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional health and safety measures are in place each step of the way to help protect all airport visitors and the community at large, which may mean added time at the airport and less options open near the gate. Those planning to travel also need to keep their finger on the pulse of evolving protocols to ensure they have the latest information before they fly.

To help travellers navigate these new procedures in place at YWG this holiday season, we’ve put together eight helpful travel tips:

  1. Plan ahead - As always, planning ahead is the best way to ensure a smooth travel experience. This step is of extra importance this year as circumstances around the pandemic can change on short notice. Before you fly, be sure to monitor travel advisories for your destination, confirm your reservation with your airline at least two days before your trip and arrange for safe transportation to and from the airport in advance, such as utilizing YWG’s key drop service.
     
  2. Be aware of entry requirements – For those travelling outside the country, additional documentation may be required to enter your destination. It is recommended you check with your airline to be sure you understand all requirements for your itinerary. There’s also restrictions at the Canadian border at this time, which may impact re-entry into the country. For the latest information, visit the Government of Canada’s website.
     
  3. Know self-isolation protocols – Self-isolation protocols are determined by government bodies to help limit the spread of COVID-19. All international travellers, as well as domestic travellers arriving in Manitoba from east of Terrace Bay, Ontario, are currently required to self-isolate for 14 days as per the Quarantine Act and Provincial Public Health Orders. You must also be aware of the self-isolation protocols in place at your destination in order to meet the requirements of your trip.
     
  4. Check what is open at the airport - A number of restaurants and establishments are currently closed or are operating with reduced hours at this time. Check out the Dining, Shopping and Service section of our website, which is updated frequently, to plan for your time at the airport and avoid any surprises.
     
  5. Arrive early - Be sure to arrive at the airport well ahead of your scheduled departure to account for new health measures, such as airlines asking additional screening questions at various stages.
     
  6. Prepare for a smooth security experience – At this time, all travellers moving through security must undergo a temperature screening. This is an added layer of safety that’s been implemented at Canada’s 15 busiest airports. As for packing, you can bring one bottle of liquid sanitizer containing up to 355 ml in your carry-on luggage and it doesn’t need to be included in the one-litre re-sealable bag. Also, it is best practice not to wrap any gifts or presents in your carry-on luggage as they may need to be unwrapped when going through security to ensure the contents are safe. Unfortunately, YWG is not offering its gift wrapping station post-security this year in an effort to minimize touch encounters at the airport.
     
  7. Focus on the fundamentals – Manitoba continues to focus on the fundamentals as the province is under the Critical (red) level of its Pandemic Response System, and the airport is no different. Everyone must wear a mask upon entering the terminal and ensure it properly covers their nose and mouth at all times. You can expect to see physical distancing signage on the ground at queuing locations and on the walls throughout the terminal. Frequent audio announcements also remind travellers to maintain a six-foot distance from others. Hand sanitizer stations are located at each stage of the passenger experience for encouraged traveller use. To further provide a healthy airport environment, the multi-layered YWG Clean Program is meeting increased cleaning standards by combining manual monitoring, new tools and technology to frequently disinfect all high-touch areas and amenities at the airport.
     
  8. Review the New YWG Travel Experience – YWG offers a step-by-step guide, complete with 30-second videos, called the New YWG Travel Experience to help passengers navigate the airport amid the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions about parking, the check-in process, boarding procedures or cleaning measures, this guide has you covered with everything you need to know to confidently move through YWG. In less than ten minutes, you will be savvy in what to expect the entire time you are at the airport.

Thank you to all travellers for continuing to follow and respect the safe travel protocols during this time to help protect all passengers, visitors, airport employees and the community. Please consult the links within this article for up-to-the-minute travel updates or for more information, visit the New YWG Travel Experience section of our website.

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