By Sea, Air and Land ~ Enhanced Restrictions in place at Canada’s Borders to Stave off COVID and its Variants

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Canada has some of the strictest travel and border measures in the world, including a mandatory 14-day quarantine for everyone returning to the country. With new COVID-19 variant detections increasing in the country, the Government of Canada is announced further testing and quarantine requirements for international travellers arriving to Canada’s air and land ports of entry. These new measures are in place to mitigate risk for COVID variants of concern from re-accelerating the pandemic and making it more difficult to contain.

As of February 15, 2021, travellers entering Canada by land must provide proof of a valid COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the U.S. upon arrival at the border. Some travellers, like commercial truckers, are exempt from the enhanced measures.

On February 22, 2021, all travellers, whether arriving by land or air will be required to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan, electronically via ArriveCAN before crossing the border or boarding a flight.

International Bridge Sault Ste. MarieFor 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. In addition, as of February 22, 2021, travellers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival as well as toward the end of their 14-day quarantine.

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. With limited exceptions, air travellers, will also be required to reserve, prior to departure to Canada, a 3-night stay in a government-authorized hotel. Travellers will be able to book their government-authorized stay starting February 18, 2021. These new measures are in addition to existing mandatory pre-boarding and health requirements for air travellers.

As of February 21, 2021, at 11:59 pm ET, travellers, unless exempted, will also be required to:

  • reserve a government-authorized hotel for 3 nights prior to departure to Canada
    take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival in Canada
  • stay in the government-authorized hotel while awaiting the results of the COVID-19 molecular test taken on arrival
  •  pay for the cost of the hotel stay, as well as all associated costs for:food, security and transportation
  • infection prevention and control measures

Travellers must present proof of having reserved and pre-paid for their accommodation through ArriveCAN.

Travellers will still be required to complete the remainder of the mandatory 14-day quarantine after their mandatory hotel stopover.

Enforcement action could lead to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

The Government of Canada continues to strongly advise Canadians to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel, including vacation plans, outside Canada. Foreign nationals should likewise postpone or cancel travel plans to Canada.