Traveling to Canada During Covid-19: What You Need to Know Before You Go


CNN Staff

If you are planning to travel to Canada, here is what you need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

The Covid-19 situation in Canada has improved dramatically in recent months, but the country entered a fourth wave at the end of the summer. New cases are now on the decline and Canada is currently recording an average of 3,000 cases per day.

On July 5, the Canadian government relaxed its mandatory two-week quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated nationals and residents arriving in the country after traveling abroad.

Beginning August 9, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States currently residing in the United States are permitted to enter Canada. Since September 7, vaccinated international travelers are also allowed to visit.

On September 26, the Government of Canada lifted its ban on flights from India.

What’s on offer

It is the ultimate destination for adventure. From skiing and snowboarding in the Rockies to bear watching in Ontario’s wilderness, Canada has it all for travelers who want to spend time in the great outdoors. .

Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City are all perfect for city breaks, with a premier cultural, gastronomic and entertainment offering.

Who can go

Citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter Canada, but if they are not vaccinated, they must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Vaccinated international travelers are allowed to enter from September 7. The Covid-19 vaccines accepted in Canada are: Pfizer-BioNTech; Moderna; AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD; and Janssen / Johnson & Johnson.

“Foreign nationals who are not fully immunized will continue to be required to meet an exemption or travel for non-discretionary purposes,” the Government of Canada website says.

Some conditions still apply to all travelers. Persons over the age of five flying in Canada are required to provide written or electronic documentation showing that they have received a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR or RT-LAMP test carried out within 72 hours before their scheduled embarkation.

For travelers arriving by land, all visitors – with a few exceptions – are also required to provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 molecular test result performed in the United States within 72 hours of travel. arrival, or a positive test carried out 14 to 90 days before arrival.

What are the restrictions?

Since August 9, international flights have been authorized to land at international airports in these Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, Quebec, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

All authorized arrivals must use the ArriveCAN app or website to submit travel and contact information, a 14-day quarantine plan (if not vaccinated), and a Covid-19 symptom self-assessment.

The quarantine plan should specify where you will be staying, how you will get there, and how you will arrange for the delivery of essentials such as groceries and medicines. Failure to follow the plan can result in a prison sentence of six months and a fine of CA $ 750,000 (US $ 593,000).

In addition, all arrivals are subject to a health examination by a border officer to assess any symptoms.

In early October, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a national Covid-19 vaccination mandate for rail and air travelers as well as for staff. “By the end of November, if you’re 12 or older and want to catch a plane or train, you’ll need to be fully immunized,” Trudeau said, noting that “testing will no longer be an option until board a train. or theft ”in Canada.

You can follow detailed travel rules between provinces here.

What is the situation with Covid-19?

Canada is now in the middle of a national Covid-19 vaccination program.

According to Canada’s official vaccine tracker, nearly 73% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Canada handled the first wave of Covid-19 well. However, a second deadly wave in late 2020 led to further lockdowns.

Several provinces have eased their restrictions as the number of cases has plummeted in recent months, but a fourth wave emerged in late summer. Cases are currently on the decline.

What can visitors expect?

Mask mandates vary from province to province.

Provinces have relaxed rules on social gatherings, indoor dining and travel in recent months in response to rising vaccination rates.

But some, including Alberta and Ontario, now require proof of vaccination to enter many non-essential locations.

Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, has adopted some of the toughest Covid-19 prevention measures in the country, with non-residents having to apply for a pass to visit in advance.

Most Canadian provinces continue to advise people to keep a distance of two meters (6.5 feet) to reduce the spread of the virus.

Useful links

Covid Alert application


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Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley, Paula Newton and Karla Cripps contributed to this report

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