Canada’s New Travel Rules Will Start Next Week & Here’s What You Need To Know

Almost everybody arriving will need a negative COVID-19 test.
Canada’s New Travel Rules Will Start Next Week & Here’s What You Need To Know
Senior Editor

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:

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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.

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.

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.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.