Area of Law: Coronavirus COVID-19
Answer # 7017
Travel restrictionsRegion: Ontario Answer # 7017
Travellers returning to Canada
The Government of Canada has put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act. Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Act.
Upon arrival in Canada
Travellers entering Canada by air or land, must:
- provide basic information using the traveller contact information form, available through:
- the ArriveCAN mobile app
- an accessible web-based form, or
- a paper form
- undergo a screening by a border services officer or quarantine officer to assess symptoms
Travellers with symptoms: Mandatory isolation
If you are Canadian or a permanent resident, and you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you may still enter Canada by land, rail or sea, but you may not enter Canada by air.
If you have symptoms, you must isolate for 14 days.
- isolate in a place where you will not have contact with vulnerable people, such as, people 65 years or older, or people with other medical conditions
- use private transportation to get to your place of isolation
- wear a non-medical mask or face covering while travelling to your place of isolation
- go directly to your place of isolation without stopping anywhere
- stay inside and do not leave for 14 days unless it is to seek medical attention
- stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others, if possible
- not allow visitors
- limit contact with others in the place of isolation
- contact your health care provider or public health authority immediately if your symptoms get worse, and follow their instructions
Travellers without symptoms: Mandatory quarantine
If you have recently returned to Canada and you do NOT have symptoms, you must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days.
Because you are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others, you must:
- quarantine (self-isolate) in a place where you will have no contact with vulnerable people, such as, people 65 years or older, or people with other medical conditions
- wear a non-medical mask or face covering while travelling to the place you will quarantine (self-isolate).
- go directly to your place of quarantine, without stopping anywhere, and stay there for 14 days
- monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19
- arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for you
- not have visitors
- stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air
- keep a distance of at least 2 metres from others
Compliance and enforcement of the Quarantine Act
Violating any instructions provided to you when you entere Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to fines and/or imprisonment.
The Contraventions Act has been changed to give police (including RCMP, provincial and local police) more power to enforce the Quarantine Act. They can now issue tickets to people who do not comply with the act. Fines range from $275 to $1000.
Exemptions to travel restrictions
Several categories of people are exempted from this order because they provide critical services, if they have no symptoms.
Non-medical masks or face coverings while travelling on public transportation
Until further notice, new measures require all air passengers to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel.
When travelling by air, travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose in the following situations:
- at Canadian airport screening checkpoints, where the screeners cannot always keep 2 metres of separation between themselves and the traveller
- when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by the airline employees
- when directed to do so by a public health order or public health official
Aviation 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 will not be allowed to continue on their journey.
When travelling by marine modes of transportation, travellers are encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings whenever possible.
Passengers travelling by land (rail or motor carrier/bus modes) of transportation are also strongly encouraged to wear non-medical masks or face coverings as much as possible. Passengers may be asked by the transportation operator to cover their noses and mouths when physical distancing is not possible.
Travellers within Canada
As of March 30, 2020, all passengers flying in Canada will be subject to a health check prior to boarding.
You will not be permitted to board if you:
- show any symptoms of COVID-19 or
- have been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19 or
- are subject to a provincial or local public health order
This also applies to travellers arriving from outside Canada.
If you are arriving from outside Canada and are deemed safe to fly, you may board a connecting flight to your destination. However, upon arrival at your final destination, you must go directly to the place where you will isolate, and remain there for 14 days.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to board any flight until:
- 14 days have passed or
- you present a medical certificate confirming that your symptoms are not related to COVID-19
Travellers departing Canada
To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions, such as movement restrictions and quarantines. Many airlines are suspending flights. Many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving. Exit bans are becoming more frequent. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected.
It is important to remember that if you travel abroad, you could be subject to the measures of other countries.
Avoid all travel on cruise ships
The Government of Canada is advising that you avoid all travel on cruise ships, until further notice.
If you do travel outside Canada, you should expect increased health screening measures at points of entry for international destinations, including airports and land borders. Local authorities may impose control measures suddenly, including movement restrictions such as quarantines. Some foreign governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions for their territories. Before travelling, verify entry requirements, border closures and flight suspensions with the foreign authorities.
If you are trying to return home and need financial assistance, the Government of Canada has created the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates can provide assistance to Canadians abroad. In case of an emergency, contact Global Affairs Canada 24/7 through its Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
Canada-U.S. border restrictions
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 essential travel.
Foreign nationals, excluding those arriving from the U.S., will not be allowed into Canada. However, there are exemptions to these restrictions.
If you are not Canadian or a permanent resident and you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you will not be allowed to enter Canada.
If you show signs of an infectious disease, officials will contact a quarantine officer.
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