Community embraces the return of Hug Rug at YWG

March 25, 2022

Categories: At YWG

After 736 days in storage, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport’s beloved Hug Rug has been placed back at the bottom of the Arrivals Hall escalator.

Since it was initially introduced in October 2013, the Hug Rug has become an iconic meeting place at YWG for family and friends to greet arriving travellers. It was temporarily removed shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared to help promote physical distancing and minimize touch encounters.

“With restrictions continuing to be lifted, community members are telling us they’re ready to connect again with loved ones,” said Nick Hays, President & CEO of WAA. “We can’t wait to welcome back more travellers safely. What a better way to do so than rolling back out the unofficial welcome mat for our province.”

The return of the Hug Rug coincides with the start of spring break in Manitoba and what is lining up to be one of the busiest weeks in two years at YWG. On Sunday, March 27 alone, in upwards of 9,000 travellers are expected to pass through the airport – the highest number in a single day since the start of the pandemic. To help make spring break plans go smoothly, here are our top travel tips:

Proof of vaccination required

Travellers aged 12 plus four months or older must be able to provide proof of vaccination to board a plane at a Canadian airport. It’s recommended you obtain your Pan-Canadian Proof of Vaccination Credential, which is available through the Government of Manitoba’s website, before your departure date.

Review requirements for your trip

Make sure to confirm the travel rules and restrictions for your destination. If you need a COVID-19 test result, CardiAI is operating a testing facility at the airport. Don’t forget to also check what steps you need to follow to return to Canada if you’re travelling internationally.

Bring a mask

Travellers must wear a mask while going through pre-board security screening checkpoints at YWG and while flying as mandated by Transport Canada. Masks are also mandatory in all areas of the airport after security checkpoints.

Know what you can pack

Shorten your time at pre-board screening checkpoints by planning ahead. Visit the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s website to learn about what can and can’t be brought through security.

Arrive early

Give yourself plenty of time and arrive at the airport early. It’s recommended you arrive two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before a transborder or international flight.

Additional tips, answers to frequently asked questions plus much more travel-related information can be found on the Travel Well YWG section of

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