Canada Implements Significant International Travel Requirements
On January 29, 2021, the Canadian government announced tighter restrictions on all international travel. Having considered a more complete suspension of all international travel, the Government of Canada ultimately did not ban international travel outright. The new rules aim to enhance travel safety while leaving essential channels for goods and services open.
First in a multi-layered approach is a suspension on all flights from Mexico and Caribbean countries until April 30, 2021. This flight suspension is subject to extension at any time. In addition, as of February 3, all international flights into Canada will be funneled into one of four airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport. All commercial and charter planes will be required to land at these four airports, while cargo planes and flights from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon may enter through other airports.
Prior to departure to Canada, all air travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result to board the aircraft. All air travelers to Canada, with limited exceptions, must also reserve a room prior to departure in a government-approved Canadian hotel for three nights at the traveler’s expense. Upon arrival to Canada, each traveler must submit to an additional COVID-19 test and quarantine in the government-approved hotel for 72 hours while awaiting results. If the test result comes back negative, the traveler may then complete the remainder of a 14-day quarantine plan at their home or other quarantine location.
While in quarantine, travelers should prepare for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to make routine checks for compliance, either in person or via electronic check in. Failure to adhere to all quarantine requirements may in result in serious penalties, including fines of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison.
In addition to air travelers, individuals entering Canada by land border should also be prepared to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry. While a start date for the land border travel restrictions has not yet been confirmed, this requirement will soon be implemented.
Foster will continue to monitor developments in connection with all new and continuing COVID-19 related travel restrictions and policies and will make future updates available on our firm’s website at www.fosterglobal.com.