New quarantine rules: what to expect when travelling to Canada
Posted on - Feb 23, 2021
By Victor Ing and Preet Gill
The federal government has recently announced that starting February 22, 2021, new rules and regulations will affect international travellers coming to Canada. With few exceptions such as for travellers offering essential services, air and land travellers to Canada must now present both a negative COVID-19 test and a suitable post-arrival quarantine plan for their trip.
In addition to these new measures, Canada has also extended border closures to non-essential travel until March 21, 2021 for travellers arriving from the United States and until April 21, 2021 for travellers arriving from other countries.
The Government of Canada has implemented these measures to prevent further introduction and transmission of COVID-19 and its new variants into Canada. They apply differently depending on whether travellers arrive by air or land.
As of February 22, 2021, travellers flying to Canada must provide written or electronic documentation showing they have received a negative result from a COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours before their scheduled flight time. International air travellers to Canada must also take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and then await the results of this test in a government-approved hotel for up to three days. While at the airport, travellers will be provided with instructions on how to take another test towards the end of their quarantine period.
Like air travellers, those entering Canada at a land port of entry will also have to present a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of arrival, take a test on arrival and also near the end of the 14-day quarantine period. However, they will not be required to await the results of the test at a government-approved hotel arrival before heading to their final destination to quarantine.
It is important to note that on-site COVID-19 testing is currently only available at five land ports of entry, including Douglas, British Columbia; Coutts, Alberta; Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, Ontario; St. Bernard de Lacolle, Quebec; and St. Stephen 3rd Bridge, New Brunswick. On-site testing will be expanded to 11 further land ports of entry by March 4, 2021, so those who are planning to travel after March 4 should review the government website for the latest information about on-site testing.
Whether entering by land or air, travellers must remember to prepare an adequate quarantine plan that will address important details such as how you will get from the port of entry to your place of quarantine, how you will obtain basic necessities such as food and water, how you will avoid contact with others who did not travel with you, among other things. Your plans must be made before arriving in Canada and must be suitable to your own circumstances. Failure to prepare a suitable quarantine plan may result in you having to stay at a federally designated quarantine facility to carry out the remainder of your 14-day quarantine at your expense.
The government’s latest travel measures were put in place to deter all non-essential travel, which places the responsibility on travellers to ensure, among other things, that they obtain the correct authorization and/or visas to travel during the pandemic, to provide a negative Covid-19 test, and to ensure that plans are in place to protect the safety of the traveller and those around them after arrival. Understanding and complying with these requirements will make your trip to Canada as smooth and painless as possible.
Victor Ing is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada, and provides a full range of immigration services.
To learn more about immigrating to Canada, becoming a permanent Canadian resident or bringing your family to Canada, email Victor Ing or call him at 1-604-689-5444.
Related Topics: family, Immigration, worker