Mobile sign in image
Sign in

While Canada’s new travel rules are set to kick in on January 7, 2021, some countries have been granted a temporary exemption by the federal government.

The new requirements were announced back in December, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 from other countries into Canada.

Editor's Choice: Canada Just Updated Their Travel Advisories After COVID-19 Tests Became Mandatory

While all travellers entering Canada will eventually be required to show a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight, some places have a little bit longer to get prepared.

What are the new rules?

In an announcement on December 30, the Government of Canada confirmed that the rules would be changing for all air passengers entering the country in 2021.

From January 7, anybody coming into Canada must show a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding a flight, regardless of their citizenship and the country they’re set to depart from.

The test must be conducted within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada and must be one of two specific types of test — either a molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP).

Transport Canada says the reason for the rule update is 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."

It's not clear how long passengers will be required to do this for, as officials have not shared a potential end date to the process.

Which countries are exempt right now?

While the new rules will eventually apply to every country, there are some exceptions in the short-term.

In a statement on January 6, Transport Canada confirmed that travellers departing from Saint Pierre et Miquelon would be exempt from the negative COVID-19 test requirement until January 14, 2021.

Similarly, people departing from Haiti can enter Canada without the test until January 21, 2021.

Anybody flying to Canada from the Caribbean or South America is able to provide a test within 96 hours of departure (instead of 72 hours) until January 14, 2021.*

The delay in these spots is to account for certain COVID-19 testing limitations, according to CBC News.

“Travellers with planned flights to Canada are strongly encouraged to take note of this information, in order to be compliant with the requirements, and to avoid being refused boarding by the airline,” Transport Canada noted.

What about quarantine rules?

Despite this new requirement, the country’s quarantine rules are not changing.

All incoming passengers will still have to isolate for two weeks upon their arrival in Canada, per the Quarantine Act.

In fact, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has even said the government is prepared to get stricter when it comes to these requirements, too.

On December 30, he said officials are “prepared to invest in additional follow-ups with phone calls, and home visits, and door knocks and enforcement if necessary to ensure that compliance."

Days later, he tweeted to say that over 200 new border officers had been assigned to Canada's biggest airports in an attempt to keep the country “secure.”

Junior's Sportsbar & Grill in Cambridge has shut down after a COVID-19 outbreak among staff, according to a Waterloo region news release.

The bar has reported five cases of COVID-19 in staff as of October 26, and "Public Health has determined that this outbreak is also associated with a high-risk exposure for patrons."

Keep Reading Show less

Toronto students have been back to in-person learning for a while now and while they can see their friends at school again, they're reportedly being told not to talk to them during lunchtime.

"By keeping talking to a minimum while eating and while masks are off, we are reducing the possibility of spread of COVID-19," Ryan Bird, the spokesperson of Toronto's District School Board told Narcity via email.

Keep Reading Show less

It's not the news we wanted to hear, but sadly singer Ed Sheeran has confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19.

Sheeran took to Instagram Sunday, October 24 to announce that he is now self-isolating, and due to government guidelines, will not be able to attend his upcoming in-person performances.

Keep Reading Show less

Toronto Police has announced that they will be making vaccines mandatory for all of their officers.

"Vaccination against COVID-19 protects the health and safety of each of our members, our workplaces and the public we serve," Chief James Ramer said in the October 21 announcement.

Keep Reading Show less