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22.02.2021

Latest News: Canadian government extends ban on direct flights from India, Pakistan until 21 June because of COVID-19 (CBC, 21.05.2021). US land borders with Canada will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least 21 June 2021 (Reuters, 20.05.2021). Stay-at-home orders in Ontario extended to 2 June because of COVID-19 (Reuters, 13.05.2021). Canadian government temporarily suspends passenger flights from India and Pakistan because of COVID-19 (Reuters, 23.04.2021).

International Restrictions:

*Entry to Canada: The Canadian authorities are barring entry to Canada, including at its border with the US, to most foreign nationals, including British nationals. This exclusion does not apply to temporary foreign workers, most international students, Canadian citizens and permanent residents or their immediate and extended families provided they remain in Canada for 15 days or more. Anyone arriving in Canada must self-quarantine for 14 days, and have a credible self-isolation plan. Immediate and extended family members planning to stay for less than 15 days must be travelling for an essential purpose. Further details are available on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website or call the Canada Border Service Agency helpline: 1 800 461 9999.

The Canadian government requires all passengers aged five and above to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling by air from another country to Canada. Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to coming to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of boarding a flight to Canada. Passengers without a negative test will be denied boarding. If you are travelling from a country where molecular testing is unavailable you will be required to report to a designated Public Health Agency of Canada quarantine facility for the duration of your mandatory 14-day quarantine. Delays in obtaining test results does not apply.

Further details are available on Transport Canada’s website. From 15 February, travellers arriving by land, with some exceptions, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken in the United States within 72 hours of arrival, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival. Further details are available on Public Health Canada’s website.

At point of departure, air operators must complete a basic health assessment of every passenger. No passengers (regardless of citizenship) who are showing symptoms of coronavirus will be allowed to board. Non-medical face masks or face coverings are required for all flights to and from Canadian airports, and within airport terminals. Anyone who cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons must be in possession of a medical certificate.

Air travellers whose final destination is Canada are required to submit their information digitally through Canada’s ArriveCAN app before they board their flight. From 22 February, this will also apply to travellers arriving by land. This includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment. You must be ready to show your ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada, as well as evidence that you have submitted your details digitally. Further information is available on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website and on Transport Canada’s website.

*Transiting Canada: If you’re planning to transit via Canada to reach the UK, you should be aware that exceptions apply. A person ‘in transit’ means that they:

• arrive and depart from the same airport within a reasonable time frame (the Canadian authorities advise this means as short as possible, and certainly less than 24 hours)

• remain on the air side or sterile area of the airport

• do not have to go through Customs and formally enter Canada and pick up their bags so they can take their next flight

• do not move between terminals at an airport, unless they can do so without going through Customs and formally entering Canada

• do not take a domestic flight to get to another airport so they can catch their next international flight

Canadian authorities require passengers to wear a face covering on flights to and from Canada, and within airport terminals in Canada. Passengers arriving at or departing from Canadian airports must demonstrate that they have the necessary face mask or face covering during the boarding process, otherwise they will be stopped from continuing their journey. Anyone who cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons must be in possession of a medical certificate. Further information is available on Transport Canada’s website.

The Canadian authorities require visitors transiting through Canada to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) see Entry requirements, unless you are otherwise exempted (for example, if you have a valid Canadian visa or a permanent resident card).

If you have any further questions, you should contact your airline, Transport Canada, or your nearest Canadian high commission, embassy or consulate. *Testing / screening on arrival: All air passengers must wear a non-medical mask or face covering during travel, within airport terminals and to their place of self-isolation. People displaying symptoms of coronavirus when they arrive in Canada may not use public transportation to travel to their place of isolation. They also may not isolate in a place where they will be in contact with vulnerable people, such as elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. In addition to the mandatory pre-departure tests, from 22 February, all travellers arriving in Canada by land and air, with some exceptions, will be required to take an additional test on arrival, and another toward the end of the 14 day self-isolation period. International travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson airport are already required to take an additional COVID-19 test on arrival. Further details are available on the Government of Ontario’s website.

You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities. For questions about travel during the coronavirus pandemic, check the Health Canada website.

*Quarantine requirements: Everyone arriving in Canada is legally required to self-isolate for 14 days. Heavy penalties apply if you fail to comply. You must also produce a credible self-isolation plan. An inadequate plan would include scenarios such as planning to stay with elderly family members or failing to have a set destination. Travellers who are unable to produce a credible plan will be placed in a quarantine location, such as a hotel, for a 2-week period.

Authorities in Alberta are piloting a voluntary testing scheme for travellers arriving in Canada at Calgary airport or via the Coutts land border crossing from the US, to shorten time spent in self-isolation. Further details are available on the Government of Alberta’s website. The scheme will be suspended upon introduction of mandatory testing on arrival from 22 February.

With limited exceptions, air travellers arriving from 22 February will be required to reserve, prior to departure to Canada, a 3 night stay in a government-authorised hotel at their own expense. Travellers will be able to book their government-authorised stay starting 18 February 2021. Further details are available on Public Health Canada’s website and on Transport Canada’s website. Internal Restrictions:

*Travel in Canada: To help curb the spread of coronavirus, provincial governments have introduced a number of measures. There are some regional variations, but they generally include:

• a ban on large social gatherings, where physical distancing is not possible;

• closure of some public facilities, museums, cinemas and theatres in affected cities and regions;

• curfew or closure of bars and restaurants in affected cities and regions;

• some public transport offering only a limited service;

• mandatory wearing of face masks in indoor public settings

*Public spaces and services: Anyone showing symptoms associated with coronavirus will be barred from domestic flights and some inter-city train services. Non-medical face masks or face coverings are required for all flights to and from Canadian airports, and within airport terminals. Anyone who cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons must be in possession of a medical certificate.

The Canadian authorities recommend the use of non-medical masks/facial coverings when it is not possible to consistently maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others, including on public transportation. Some local transport authorities are making this a mandatory requirement. You should ensure that you are in possession of a mask/facial covering when using public transport in the event you are requested by transport operators to wear one.

Federal, provincial and local authorities may introduce further restrictions at short notice, including the requirement to wear a face mask or face covering in public or enclosed spaces, closing provincial borders, internal travel restrictions, a provisional ban on temporary foreign workers, or mandatory self-isolation for people arriving from other provinces. You should comply with the rules and advice of local authorities in relation to coronavirus. Check guidance for each province.

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