September 7, 2021
Follow these tips to speed up your arrivals process while staying safe.
If you’re planning to travel to Canada, it’s important to be aware of mandatory entry requirements that protect both you and people in Canada from the spread of COVID-19. Being prepared can also speed up processing time upon arrival and reduce the risk of exposure for you and others.
Even if you are fully vaccinated, there are still mandatory requirements that you must meet. Fully vaccinated travellers may be eligible for exemptions from quarantine and reduced testing requirements by providing proof that they are fully vaccinated and by meeting all other requirements. To be considered fully vaccinated, travellers must have received a full series of a (or a combination of vaccines). Travellers must receive their last dose at least 14 days prior to the day they enter Canada (i.e., travel must take place on day 15 or later).
On September 7, 2021, travellers from any country will be eligible to enter Canada if they have been fully vaccinated with Government of Canada-accepted vaccines, at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and meet specific entry requirements. Travellers from countries outside of Canada who are not fully vaccinated will not be able to enter Canada unless they already meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act. Travellers who do not meet the criteria and requirements will be denied entry into Canada, may be denied boarding on flights to Canada, will be turned back if arriving from the United States, and/or could face on arrival.
Travelling to Canada with Children
Unvaccinated youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are permitted to enter Canada with their fully vaccinated parent(s) and/or guardian(s), but are subject to the 14-day quarantine.
Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age with fully vaccinated parent(s) and/or guardian(s) do not need to quarantine, but must follow enhanced public health measures, including not attending school or daycare for 14 days. All unvaccinated children (except those under 5 years of age) remain subject to the arrival and post-arrival testing requirements.
, regardless of their vaccination status, should be included in the ArriveCAN submission. Children will not be denied boarding as a result of not being vaccinated if they are travelling with vaccinated adults.
Fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada
Before you travel
You must take a within 72 hours before the scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada, or your entry into Canada if arriving by land or water. If you have already had COVID-19 and recovered, you can provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test taken at least 14 and no more than 180 days before the initial scheduled departure time of your flight, or entry into Canada by water or land. Rapid antigen tests will not be accepted.
Before you travel to Canada, use to submit all required information, including proof of vaccination, and your travel and quarantine plans and have vaccination documentation ready to speed up the process and to avoid . You can use ArriveCAN online or the free app. Make sure you’re using the latest version of the ArriveCAN app.
Air carriers are verifying that all citizens of countries outside of Canada who are eligible to come to Canada for discretionary purposes have submitted their information electronically by using ArriveCAN before they board their flight. Fully vaccinated foreign national travellers who are unable to show their —either on their mobile device or a printed copy—will not be allowed to board their flight to Canada, as they are ineligible to enter Canada.
Have your ArriveCAN receipt, test results, a paper or digital copy of your vaccination documentation for all doses received and quarantine plan ready for assessment by a Border Services Officer when you arrive in Canada.
Even if you are fully vaccinated, you must provide a suitable quarantine plan in case you don’t meet the requirements for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption. Your vaccination status and eligibility for public health exemptions will be determined upon entry by a government official.
Arriving in Canada
Follow the instructions provided to you upon entry to Canada to complete your if required. Fully vaccinated travellers who are selected for random mandatory testing must complete the arrival (day-1) test; however, they do not have to quarantine while awaiting the result. Airports and some land border crossings have on-site services where you may be able to complete your test before continuing to your final destination. If a traveller is selected for a mandatory random test, but refuses to take the test, they will be subject to quarantine and penalties/fines.
If you received a self-swab kit for your arrival test, complete the kit at home (or at the destination you are travelling to) and send it to the lab following the instructions provided. This collection must be observed by the testing provider otherwise you will be required to complete a retest.
If your on-arrival test is positive or you are exposed to someone who tests positive:
- follow all local public health requirements, including quarantine or isolation
- keep your proof of vaccination available in case you are asked to provide it.
Travellers who aren't fully vaccinated
Unvaccinated travellers who are will need to follow all . This includes completing a pre-arrival molecular test and an on-arrival (day 1) test, quarantining for 14 days at a suitable location, and taking a day-8 test (unless you are entering Canada by water) with the provided COVID-19 At-Home Specimen Collection Kits.
Before you travel
You must get a within 72 hours of the departure time of your flight to Canada, or your entry into Canada if arriving by land or water. If you have already had COVID-19 and recovered, you can provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test taken at least 14 and no more than 180 days before the initial scheduled departure time of your flight, or entry into Canada by land or water. Rapid antigen tests will not be accepted.
Have your ArriveCAN receipt, test results and quarantine plan ready for assessment by a Border Services Officer when you arrive in Canada.
Arriving in Canada
When you enter Canada, you’ll be instructed to either take an arrival test at the border, or receive a self-swab kit for your arrival test. You will also get a self-swab kit to use on day 8 of your (except for travellers who are only passing through on their way to or from Alaska). You must follow the instructions provided in order to perform your observed specimen collection and access your results. Your specimen collection must be observed by the provider or you will be required to retest.
After you have entered Canada, you must use ArriveCAN or call 1-833-641-0343 within 48 hours to confirm that you have arrived at your place of quarantine or isolation. You’ll also need to complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during your quarantine period.
What should you expect when entering Canada?
Knowing what to expect when you arrive in Canada can save you time and effort as you embark on your trip.
When entering Canada, a Border Services Officer will:
1. Ask if you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing. Answer truthfully. (Remember, Canadians, persons with status under the Indian Act and permanent residents who have COVID-19 symptoms are allowed to enter Canada.)
2. Ask if you understand that you must:
- quarantine for 14 days if you don’t have symptoms and are not fully vaccinated, or isolate for 10 days if you have symptoms;
- take an on-arrival test on day 1 of your entry to Canada, if required by a Border Services Officer; and
- complete a COVID-19 test on day 8 of quarantine with the provided COVID-19 At-Home Specimen Collection Kit if you are not fully vaccinated
3. Ask if you have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine, where:
- you’ll have access to basic necessities, including water, food, medication and heat during the winter months;
- you won’t have contact with people who:
- you won’t be in a group or community living arrangement; and
- you can avoid contact with others who did not travel with you and will have no visits from family or guests.
4. Give you instructions on the actions you must take under the Emergency Order as well as the penalties and fines for non-compliance.
5. Ask to see your printed or digital ArriveCAN receipt.
6. Ask you to follow instructions for your home COVID-19 testing. Before travelling, you should also research provincial, territorial and local public health measures and restrictions for your destination, as they can vary.