Following a new update to the country’s travel rules, Canada’s international flight restrictions apply everywhere except for one unique spot.
On January 29, the federal government announced that all international flights would have to land in one of just four Canadian airports, starting on January 31, 2021.
However, there remains a singular exception to that rule.
⚠️ Canadians abroad ⚠️ All scheduled international commercial passenger flights will now land at 1 of 4 🇨🇦 airport… https://t.co/6MGXo7WUiw— Travel.gc.ca (@Travel.gc.ca) 1612372165.0
What are Canada's international flight restrictions?
Restrictions on international flights were originally announced back in March 2020, but planes flying from the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean were exempt.
However, the new order confirmed that these countries would no longer be spared from the rule — meaning they’d now have to land in one of Canada's four approved airports.
This includes Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
While the update has removed exceptions from almost all countries, there remains just one place on Earth that can still operate and land at other Canadian airports.
Where is it?!
Flights leaving from Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, an island off the coast of Newfoundland, are still not required to follow the rule.
Despite the island’s close proximity to Canada, it has to be listed as an international exception as it’s actually a part of France!
This means that anyone flying from there to Canada must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding, just like passengers from other countries overseas.
In addition, anybody entering the French territory from Canada must also prove they are not sick by showing proof of a negative test.
Let me be very clear: Nobody should be taking a vacation abroad right now. If you’ve got one planned, cancel it - a… https://t.co/s3BBcnhyOm— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau) 1611351580.0
Why is this one spot exempt?
While a statement from Transport Canada confirmed that planes from Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon are exempt from the restrictions, an explanation as to why was not shared.
The island, alongside several other spots, was also given extra time to prepare for the negative COVID-19 test requirement that was introduced in January.
At the time, the Government of Canada said the flexibility was in place for “travellers departing from some countries in recognition of the need for testing systems to adjust.”
It’s not clear whether the airport restrictions will eventually apply to the French territory or not, but Transport Canada says all current rules will “remain in effect until further notice.”