As Canada's rules for returning to the country have been updated, airlines have been adapting accordingly and WestJet's new travel requirements have just been released.
Effective January 7 at 12:01 a.m., all travellers over 5-years-old must provide a negative COVID-19 test upon arriving in Canada. All Canadian airlines will be required to enforce these new requirements as per Transport Canada.*
In addition, it is mandatory for all incoming travellers to Canada to submit their COVID-related information digitally through ArriveCAN.
You also need to download the ArriveCAN app or access it via the website and upload your travel and contact information, quarantine plan, and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment before you board your flight.
Your quarantine plan needs to include how you'll get to your destination, how you'll get groceries, and how you'll access essential services and medical care. So, you need to plan ahead.
After you get to Canada, you need to confirm you've arrived at your quarantine destination via AriveCAN within 48-hours.
You also need to provide a daily self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms during your quarantine period.
As of now, no foreign nationals are allowed to enter Canada for non-essential reasons such as "tourism, recreation, shopping for non-essential goods, and/or sight-seeing," says WestJet as per the Transport Canada requirements.*
There are a couple of exceptions that would allow someone from another country to enter Canada including a work or study permit that "is deemed non-discretionary."
In addition, one can enter if they are "Uniting with a family member of a Canadian citizen or of a permanent resident and who is destined to be with that family member in Canada for a period of at least 15 days."
Finally, access may be granted to "Foreign nationals seeking to enter Canada for compassionate reasons in specific circumstances, such as life-threatening illness, critical injury or death, with potential limited release from quarantine can apply for an exemption to travel."
All Canadian airlines must adhere to Transport Canada's new requirements.
*This article has been updated.