UPDATED – FEBRUARY 12, 2021
To limit the spread of COVID-19, American and Canadian authorities announced their intention to temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the US-Canada border. More information about the temporary border closure can be found online.
If you are currently travelling in the United States:
- Consider returning to Canada as soon as possible
- Expect longer wait time at border crossing points
- Comply with any restrictive measures and directives issued by local authorities such as self-isolation and quarantine orders
- Contact your airline or tour operator regarding your travel plans
UPDATED FEBRUARY 12, 2021 – RETURNING HOME TO CANADA
For travellers arriving to Canada by land, as of February 15, 2021, all travellers, with some exceptions, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours of pre-arrival, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival.
All travellers arriving to Canada by air, as of February 22, 2021, with some exceptions, will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test when they arrive in Canada before exiting the airport, and another toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period.
More specific information is available here.
Airlines will prevent all travellers who present COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of their citizenship, from boarding international flights to Canada. Airlines are required to do a basic health assessment of all air travellers based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Effective April 20, 2020 and until further notice, new measures require all air passengers to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel.
When travelling by air, travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose in the following situations:
- at Canadian airport screening checkpoints, where the screeners cannot always keep two metres of separation between themselves and the traveller
- when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by the airline employees
- when directed to do so by a public health order or public health official
Upon return to Canada, if you have symptoms, you must isolate for 14 days. This is mandatory.
- You must isolate in a place where you will not have contact with vulnerable people, such as:
- people 65 years or older, or
- people with underlying medical conditions
- You will need to confirm you have a suitable place to isolate where you will have access to basic necessities, such as food and medication
- You must use private transportation (such as your own vehicle) to get to your place of isolation
- You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while traveling to your place of isolation
Upon return to Canada, if you have no symptoms, you must quarantine for 14 days. This is mandatory. You are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.
- You must quarantine in a place where you will have no contact with vulnerable people, such as:
- people 65 years or older, or
- people with underlying medical conditions
- You will need to confirm you have a suitable place to isolate where you will have access to basic necessities, such as food and medication.
- You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while traveling to the place you will quarantine
Earlier this month, the government of Canada introduced specific measures to support family reunification and entry for compassionate reasons. Before finalizing your travel plans, all travelers should review the process and requirements. For example, travelling by land has unique requirements, as does travel by air.
If you are travelling to Canada from the United States to reunite with an immediate family member who is a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada, you must provide evidence of this relationship such as birth certificate or wedding certificate. You must stay in Canada for a minimum period of 15 days during which 14 will be dedicated to quarantine. Immediate family members do not need written authorization from Canadian authorities prior to their trip. For more information please visit: How to unite with immediate family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Learning institutions whose COVID-19 readiness plans have been approved by their provincial or territorial government will soon be able to welcome more international students back to their schools. Amended travel restrictions took effect on October 20, allowing international students to enter Canada if their designated learning institution (DLI) has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place.
The list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place will be posted on IRCC’s web page for international students affected by COVID-19 restrictions and updated regularly as provinces and territories identify additional schools.
COVID-19 EMERGENCY LOAN PROGRAM
To help Canadians abroad return home, the Government of Canada is creating a special financial assistance program, the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. With this program, Canadian abroad directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada and to temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return.
Eligible Canadians currently outside Canada who need financial assistance can contact the nearest Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) or [email protected].
WHILE IN THE U.S.
The Embassy of Canada and our Consulates are currently operating with very reduced on-site presence in line with U.S. and Canadian government guidance. We are facing high demands for support and advise against visiting in person. If you require consular assistance, please contact us by phone at 1-844-880-6519 or email at [email protected].
For emergency assistance, please contact: 1-800-387-3124 / [email protected]. You can also follow our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) for ongoing guidance and check this page regularly for updates. Please also visit www.travel.gc.ca and register yourselves as Canadian citizens abroad to receive updates from the Embassy.
While in the U.S., you should monitor local media and follow instructions from local authorities. Be sure to use credible sources for information about COVID-19.
Social media accounts to monitor:
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau @CanadianPM
- Travel advice from the Government of Canada @TravelGoC
- Health Canada and PHAC @GovCanHealth
- Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam @CPHO_Canada
- Canada Border Services Agency @CanBorder
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention @CDCgov
- World Health Organization @WHO
- Travel.gc.ca – Travel advice from the Government of Canada
- Healthy Canadians
- Canada Border Services Agency
You can also find much reliable, up-to-date information on the following sites:
- Updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada are available at: http://canada.ca/coronavirus
- For the latest advice from the U.S. Government, please visit: http://coronavirus.gov/
Please share this important information with other Canadian citizens in your area. Encourage them to register with ROCA (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration) to enable them to receive important safety updates from the Government of Canada.
Additional resources and information:
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Who can travel to Canada – citizens, permanent residents, foreign nationals and refugees
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice
- COVID-19: Stricter rules for foreign nationals transiting through Canada to Alaska
- The Government of Canada Takes Action on COVID-19
- Embassies and consulates by destination