Canada extends travel restrictions again

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: April 20, 2021

Canada has extended travel restrictions until May 21, 2021 for travellers of all countries, including the U.S.

The announcement was made by Canada's Public Safety minister Bill Blair via Twitter.

International flights continue to be accepted through only four Canadian airports: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

Incoming travellers who are exempt from the travel restrictions are required to show a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before coming to Canada. They are also required to take another test upon arrival. Travellers must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for three days while they wait for their results.

Quarantine requirements have also been extended. All travellers to Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days. The three day government-mandated hotel stay can count towards your quarantine period. Only essential travellers do not have to quarantine. This includes emergency service providers, truck drivers, some technicians or specialists, those living in a trans-border community and those who regularly cross the border to work.

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When will the border re-open?

Last week, Health Minister Patty Hajdu reiterated that now is not the time to travel. Hajdu did not say when Canada is considering to reopen the border. However, she did mention that there are a few things that Canada needs to monitor before that happens.

“We monitor a number of different metrics including domestic spread, provinces’ and territories’ capacities to manage cases in their own jurisdiction, as well as the situation internationally,” Hajdu said at a press conference alongside other officials on Tuesday, April 6.

Like many other countries, Canada is facing a third wave of the COVID-19 virus. Canadian provinces and territories are struggling with the surge in cases.

Are vaccinated travellers exempt from the travel restrictions?

Canada is currently keeping an eye on the effectiveness of “vaccine passports” for the moment. There is a lack of evidence to suggest whether vaccinated people can spread the virus to others.

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, highlighted that Canada must first consider what measures are appropriate for those who are vaccinated, particularly those who are vaccinated by vaccines that are not approved by Health Canada.

Who is exempt from the travel restrictions?

Only certain people are exempt from the travel restrictions, and will be granted entry into Canada. Those include Canadian citizens and permanent residents, as well as their family members.

Some temporary foreign workers, and international students attending a school that has a COVID-19 response plan, are also allowed into Canada.

Protected persons and people coming to Canada for compassionate reasons are also exempt. For a full list of who can travel to Canada, visit this government webpage.

Compassionate reasons include those who wish to travel to Canada:

  • to be present during the final moments of life for a loved one, or to provide support or care for someone who is critically ill;
  • to provide medical support to a person who needs it; or
  • to attend a funeral, or end of life ceremony.

Compassionate travellers are required to fill out an application to get limited release from quarantine before the end of the 14 day period.

In all cases, Canadian border services officers have the final say on who is allowed into Canada.

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© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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