Here are what the safety and health measures deployed at Vancouver International Airport during COVID-19 look like.
My Travel Experience at Vancouver Airport (YVR) during COVID-19
After a flight from Montreal, and before taking a flight to Frankfurt, I had the opportunity to experience Vancouver International Airport (YVR) both inbound and outbound, and its TAKEcare program.
After a rather transformed travel experience at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, including many health measures put in place, the experience in Vancouver is not really different from what it was before (apart from travelling through an airport empty of its passengers).
Arriving by Car - Vancouver International Airport
Upon arrival at Vancouver International Airport, there are very few vehicles present.
Unlike Montréal-Trudeau, where the entrance is channelled through only two doors (to ensure passenger entry control in the terminal), none of this is happening in Vancouver. It is possible to use any door, as usual.
Signage in French and English is appreciated.
Wearing a mask is mandatory at Vancouver International Airport. There are signs at each entrance reminding you of this, and you will also find disinfectant gel throughout your route.
Check-in - Vancouver International Airport
Unlike Montréal-Trudeau, there is no temperature control at the entrance to the terminal.
Like Montréal-Trudeau, the international flight billboard is empty. At 2:00 p.m., only six flights are scheduled for the evening:
- Mexico City
- Hong Kong
Protective Plexiglas has been installed at the check-in counters.
Through the terminal, there are more airline personnel or security personnel than passengers.
Security - Vancouver International Airport
My flight to Frankfurt departs from gates D. However, security screening for gates D is closed; all passengers are redirected to gates C control.
You’re then off to the security scanners. The bins in which you put your belongings do not seem to be disinfected after each use. On the other hand, gel is available upon exit.
In addition to better managing personnel at Vancouver International Airport, this screening at gates C allows Air Canada to offer its Maple Leaf Lounge access to both domestic and international passengers like me.
Boarding - Vancouver International Airport
Once you get to the boarding halls, it’s totally empty. The vast majority of restaurants are closed, as are shops. Only 1 or 2 souvenir shops remain open.
The walk to gates D is rather long after staying at the Maple Leaf Lounge in gates C. A cursory check allows me to go to gate D55.
Seat rows have placards affixed to them to ensure social distancing is respected. In other words, there is no room for everyone if the flight were full. But I still find a place to sit a few minutes before boarding.
In my opinion, the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport has done more in terms of health screening than the Vancouver International Airport. It must be said that the COVID-19 situation is not the same in the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia. This can also be seen in the signage.
Passengers within the terminal can be counted on the fingers of both hands, which may explain the lack of some entry controls. However, the procedures are identical between the two airports, with temperature control at the crossing of security, and the heavy presence of disinfectant gel.