Travel Questions

COVID-19 measures, updates, and guidance issued by Transport Canada 

Use of non-medical masks or face coverings in the Canadian transportation system

Aviation

  • When travelling by air, travellers are encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings whenever possible, but at a minimum are required to cover their mouth and nose:
    • – at Canadian airport screening checkpoints, where the screeners cannot always keep two metres of separation between themselves and the passenger;
    • – during flight when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by the airline employees; and
    • – when directed to do so by a public health order or public health official.
  • Passengers on all flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports will also be required to demonstrate they have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process otherwise they could be denied entry into the sterile area of the airport or denied boarding onto the aircraft.
  • Airlines are responsible for notifying passengers when purchasing their ticket at the counter or online, of the requirement to have non-medical masks or face coverings during the voyage, when physical distancing is not possible, to avoid putting the safety of others at risk. It is the passenger’s responsibility to have the appropriate face covering.

 U.S. – Canada joint initiative: Temporary restriction of travellers crossing the U.S.-Canada border for non-essential purposes

Domestic Travel within Canada

  • Air
    • – A requirement for all air operators to conduct a health check of travellers before they board a flight within Canada or departing from Canada, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This would include asking health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the traveller follow guidance from local health authorities.
    • – A requirement for air operators to refuse boarding to a passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms. The denial will remain in effect for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19. These measures will apply to aircraft with 10 seats or more.
    • – A requirement for air operators to notify travellers that they may be subject to provincial or territorial measures at their final destination.
  •   Rail
    • – A requirement for intercity passenger rail companies to do a health check to screen passengers for COVID-19 symptoms before they board a train, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This will include company representatives asking simple health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the passenger follow guidance from local health authorities.
    • – A requirement for intercity passenger rail companies to refuse boarding to a passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms. The denial will remain in effect for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
    • – These measures do not apply to commuter trains.
  • More information:   https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/initiatives/covid-19-measures-updates-guidance-tc.html

Financial Assistance for Canadians outside Canada

Returning Canadians

  •  https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-travel-advice.aspx
  •  https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/2019-novel-coronavirus-information-sheet.html
  •  You must quarantine without delay
    • – Go directly to your place of quarantine without delay and stay there for 14 days from the date you arrived in Canada, or longer if you develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to another person subject to the Order who has signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
    • – Do not quarantine in a place where you have contact with vulnerable individuals, including those who have an underlying medical condition, compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment, or are 65 years of age or older.
    • – Ensure you have a suitable place of quarantine that has the necessities of life.
    • – Ensure you wear an appropriate mask or face covering, especially while in transit.
    • – Practise physical distancing at all times.
    • – Use private transportation such as a private vehicle if possible.
    • – Do not make any unnecessary stops on your way to your place of quarantine.
    • – Avoid contact with others while in transit:
      • – Remain in the vehicle as much as possible;
      • – Avoid staying at a hotel;
    • – If you need gas, pay at the pump;
    • – If you need food, use a drive through;
    • – If you need to use a rest area, put on your mask and be mindful of physical distancing and good hygiene practices.
  • You Must Monitor your health for 14 days:
    • – Fever
    • – Cough
    • – Difficulty Breathing
  • If you start having symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath, or fever equal to or greater than 38°C, or signs of fever e.g. shivering, flushed skin, excessive sweating):
    • – Isolate yourself from others.
    • – Immediately call the public health authority and describe your symptoms and travel history, and follow their instructions.
  • While in Quarantine:
    • – It is important that you:
    • – Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • – Avoid touching your face.
    • – Cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.
    • – Limit contact with others within the place of quarantine, including children and those who have not travelled nor been exposed to the virus.
  • You MUST:
    • – Stay at your place of quarantine.
    • – Not leave your place of quarantine unless it is to seek medical attention.
    • – Not use public transportation (e.g. buses, taxis).
    • – Not have visitors.
    • – Not go to school, work or any other public areas.
    • – Arrange for the necessities of life (e.g. food, medications, cleaning supplies) to be delivered to your place of quarantine.

Follow the instructions provided and online: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): How to self-isolate at home when you may have been exposed and have no symptoms

Cruise Ships

  • The Government of Canada is monitoring Cruise Ships closely.
  • The Cruise Ship’s hosting Canadians all have plans to dock in the coming days
  • Canadians abroad ships should listen to the direction of the Captain and Crew
  • Reassure families and friends of passengers that the Government is aware of the Cruise ship and that they are working to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians
  • All Canadians abroad must register online with Global Affairs Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration AND Email sos@international.gc.ca or call +1 613-996-8885
  •  The Government of Canada is advising that Canadians avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, until further notice.

 Either I or my family member is outside of Canada and is affected by travel bans. What should we do?

  • Canadians travelling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca.

Visitors to Canada

  •  https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html
  •  Travel for the purpose of obtaining immigration services is non-essential. If you are in Canada, and are seeking to travel to the border in order to make an application for a work permit, study permit or permanent residence, you are asked to consider federal and provincial guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing. Do not travel to the border for these services until further notice.
  • If you are currently in Canada as a visitor, student or worker, you can apply online to IRCC to extend your temporary resident status. By doing so, you can continue to stay, study or work in Canada while your application is being processed. This is referred to as implied status, and as long as you apply before your current document expires, your current immigration authorizations and conditions remain unchanged.  In-Canada services are available through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Visitor Visa/Study Permit/Work Permit 

  • New applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online
  • At this time, if you’re applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit, apply online.
  • Due to service disruptions related to COVID-19, we are experiencing difficulties receiving and processing applications submitted by mail or in person at a VACTemporary foreign workers
  • approved PR and students
  • Temporary foreign workers, some international students and approved permanent residents who haven’t yet landed are now able to enter Canada.
  • The travel restriction exemptions that were announced are now in place. If you’re exempt, you can now travel to Canada.
  • If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
  • When you arrive in Canada we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.
  • Only people who provide essential services and truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods are exempt from the isolation requirements.
  • More information here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

Foreign nationals:

  • If you are a foreign national arriving from the U.S. with symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to enter Canada.
  • Foreign nationals arriving from the U.S. without symptoms of COVID-19, will be allowed to enter Canada only for non-discretionary travel.
  • Foreign nationals, excluding those arriving from the U.S., will not be allowed into Canada. However, there are exemptions to these restrictions for foreign nationals arriving from other countries.
  • As of June 8, 2020, foreign nationals who are immediate family members (definition below) of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, and who have no reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.
  •  Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.
  • An immediate family member refers to a person’s:
    • – spouse or common-law partner
    • – dependent child, as defined in Section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
    • – dependent child, as defined in Section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b)
    • – parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner
    • – guardian or tutor
  •  For more information, consult the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Alberta Travel Updates & Requirements 

Should I be cancelling my travel plans because of COVID-19?

New measures for  commercial passenger vessels and ferries 

  • https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/04/the-government-of-canada-announces-new-measures-for-ferries-and-commercial-passenger-vessels-capable-of-carrying-more-than-12-passengers.html
  • As of April 6, the new measures with mandatory requirements:
    • – Prohibit all commercial marine vessels with a capacity of more than 12 passengers from engaging in non-essential activities, such as tourism or recreation.
    • – These measures will remain in place until at least June 30.
  • Prevent any Canadian cruise ship from mooring, navigating, or transiting in Canadian Arctic waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast).
    • – Should any foreign passenger vessel seek to enter Arctic waters, they would need to give the Minister of Transport 60 days’ notice and be subject to any conditions the Minister determines necessary to ensure the protection of marine personnel and local communities.
    • – These measures will remain in place until October 31, 2020.
  • Require ferries and essential passenger vessel operators to:
    • – Immediately reduce by 50% the maximum number of passengers that may be carried on board (conduct half-load voyages) to support the two-metre physical distancing rule; or
    • – Implement alternative practices to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 (consistent with Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines) among passengers on board their vessels, such as keeping people in their vehicles, when feasible or enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.
  • In addition to these measures, Transport Canada is issuing guidelines to ferry operators respecting health screening for all passengers before boarding to better protect their employees and passengers. These guidelines are based on advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • The new measures preventing vessel activity do not apply to:
    • – essential passenger vessels such as ferries, water taxis, and medical-use vessels;
    • – cargo vessels, barges, work boats, fishing vessels and other commercial vessels who operate to support resupply operations and the movement of goods through Canada’s supply chain;
    • – Canadian commercial passenger vessels, without passengers, moving for repairs or repositioning;
    • – Canadian commercial passenger vessels that are not in service; and
    • – pleasure craft (e.g. non-commercial vessels).