With just days to go until 2021, the federal government announced plans for Canada’s new travel rules.
The updated requirements now include requiring incoming visitors to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to flying, as well as stronger quarantine enforcement measures upon arrival.
On December 31, the Government of Canada explained in a statement what the new protocol is going to look like:
⚠️New 🇨🇦 entry measures to protect the health of Canadians ⚠️ As of January 7, passengers travelling to Canada by… https://t.co/PSDLVJFwKG— Travel.gc.ca (@Travel.gc.ca)1609450550.0
What are the new rules?
Speaking during a press conference on December 30, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc announced that all passengers arriving in Canada will have to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight.
Per the Government of Canada’s most recent statement, this will come into effect as of January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST.
To be allowed into Canada, visitors must have documentation of a negative test result, which will be presented to the airline “prior to boarding a flight to Canada.”
It must be a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and it has to be taken within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure.
Returning to Canada? You must quarantine for 14 days upon your return or you could face jail time or fines. Learn… https://t.co/xripX4wT6L— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC)1609372810.0
What about quarantine?
Even with proof of a negative result, passengers will be required to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon their arrival.
Per the new rules, federal officials have promised to get stricter when it comes to enforcing this mandatory quarantine period.
“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,” reads the statement.
All visitors will continue to have their quarantine plans checked by a government official, who will decide whether or not the individual should stay in a federal quarantine facility.
Those entering must also continue to use the ArriveCAN app or website to provide contact information and their arrival plan plan prior to entry.
The Government of Canada is continuing to advise travellers to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Pu… https://t.co/lfRvZkq12k— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC)1609365611.0
Who will it affect?
It will apply to travellers from every country and to all airlines, both foreign and domestic.
Children under the age of five will be exempt from the rules, as will emergency service providers and airline crew members.
People travelling on refueling flights won’t be asked to get a test either, according to Global News.
Federal officials have urged anybody currently travelling with plans to return to Canada to “start immediately arranging for a COVID-19 test.”
“Canadians who are planning to travel abroad should consider how they will meet these requirements before departure,” concludes the government statement.