We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
And although COVID-19 is still very much upon us, there’s hope that by the end of 2021, international travel will be possible for the majority once again.
At present, however, the Canadian Government has taken measures to protect its citizens from exposure to COVID-19 from beyond its borders, by introducing several restrictions regarding who can enter the country and for what purpose.
This post provides you with a brief overview of the current travel restrictions in Canada.
Can I visit Canada right now?
Yes and no is the best answer to this question!
The government has stipulated that Canadian citizens, dual Canadian citizens, permanent residents, persons under the Canadian Indian Act, and protected persons are currently permitted to enter Canada.
Foreign nationals are only permitted entry at present if they’re eligible.
What does that mean? Well, you must meet one of the eligibility requirements if you wish to enter Canada right now. You can view the complete list here.
Essentially, unless you’re a foreign national travelling on compassionate grounds, you need to explain to the Canadian government why you’re travelling. Details of what is deemed as acceptable are shared in the guidelines via the link above.
If I’m eligible to travel, what else do I need to know?
If you’re eligible to travel to Canada, you must have a mandatory quarantine plan in place. The plan applies to entry into all provinces. It includes booking into a government-authorized hotel at your own cost for three days, then completing the remaining eleven days in suitable accommodation.
All visitors must register with ArriveCan and complete daily COVID19 symptom assessments. Even if you’re fully vaccinated against COVID19, you’re still required to quarantine for fourteen days on arrival.
The Canadian government expects to relax these measures at the start of July and permit access to fully vaccinated travellers, but a conclusive announcement has not yet been made. At present, only four major airports are accepting international travellers: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver.
What about when I’m in Canada?
Upon completion of your fourteen-day quarantine, what’s next?
Well, some of Canada’s provinces follow a tiered lockdown system, which is strictly enforced. For instance, there are five tiers in Ontario and four in Quebec, with the governments able to move between tiers depending on the rate of infection. In British Colombia, ‘province-wide restrictions’ have been in place since the end of 2020.
Thanks to a widely rolled out vaccine programme, multiple provinces are beginning to relax their lockdowns and restrictions.
What’s more, mask mandates vary between provinces and rules on social gathering, indoor dining, and inter-province travel are varied. For instance, since May 28th, restaurants in Quebec have been permitted to serve diners outdoors, and Ontario has recently followed suit.
There has also been a relaxation of dining out measures in Alberta and British Colombia, but things could quickly change if infection rates spike.
Should I travel to Canada right now?
Probably not, unless you have a government-approved reason for doing so. Restrictions in Canada have been amongst the toughest in the world and are strictly enforced.
However, the good news is that as the nationwide vaccine rollout gains momentum, many provinces are beginning to open up.
If Canada sees a continuation of the current trend, it could be back open fully for business and travel later this year.