The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis that is having a significant impact on the air industry and all travellers. The Government of Canada has multiple measures in place to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and to help prevent air travel from being a source of further introduction and spread of COVID-19 and new variants of the virus into Canada.
Since March 13, 2020, the Government of Canada has strongly advised against non-essential travel, and that travel restrictions and measures can be amended at any time as necessary for public health reasons.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, is requiring that, effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. This implementation date provides all airlines, both foreign and domestic, adequate time to comply with the new requirements.
Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.
Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The Government of Canada will be further increasing surveillance efforts to ensure travellers entering Canada complete the applicable mandatory 14-day quarantine period under the Quarantine Act.
As has been the case for months, all travellers will have their quarantine plans reviewed by a government official and, if not suitable, will be required to quarantine in a federal quarantine facility. Travellers to Canada must use the ArriveCAN App or website and provide accurate contact information and their mandatory 14-day quarantine plan on or before entry.
Violating any instructions provided when you enter Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.
Canadians who are currently travelling and returning to Canada soon should start immediately arranging for a COVID-19 test, to avoid a delay in their return to Canada. Canadians who are planning to travel abroad should consider how they will meet these requirements before departure.