List of Acts and Regulations

The Public Health Agency of Canada assists the Minister of Health in exercising or performing the Minister's powers, duties, and functions in relation to public health.

Through the delivery of its legislative and regulatory programs, the Agency is seeking to comply with the Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management, which encompasses the commitments outlined in the Government of Canada's Red Tape Reduction Action Plan that responds to the recommendations of the Red Tape Reduction Commission.

Here you will find information regarding Acts and Regulations associated with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Human Pathogens and Toxins Act

The purpose of this Act is to establish a safety and security regime to protect the health and safety of the public against the risks posed by human pathogens and toxins.

Department of Health Act

This Act sets out the powers, duties, and functions of the Minister, which extend to all matters covering the promotion or preservation of the health of Canadians over which Parliament has jurisdiction.

Public Health Agency of Canada Act

This Act establishes the Public Health Agency of Canada for the purpose of assisting the Minister of Health in exercising or performing the Minister's powers, duties and functions in relation to public health. It also establishes the office of the Chief Public Health Officer and the office of the President, and the related powers, duties and functions.

Quarantine Act

The purpose of this Act is to protect public health by taking comprehensive measures to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases. The Act authorizes the Minister of Health to establish quarantine stations and quarantine facilities anywhere in Canada, and to designate various officers including quarantine officers, environmental health officers, and screening officers. The Act authorizes measures that can be taken in respect of international travellers, or other persons at an entry or departure point, who have or might have a communicable disease (one that poses a risk of significant harm to public health). It also authorizes measures that can be taken in respect of conveyances arriving in or departing from Canada, and cargo on those conveyances, which could be the source of a communicable disease.

COVID-19 Emergency Orders in Council (OIC) pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act in effect:

Group Exemption under 3(1)(j)(ii) of the Order

Pursuant to paragraph 3(1)(j)(ii)of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any country other than the United States), made pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act, the Chief Public Health Officer may determine a class of persons who provide an essential service while in Canada.
As determined by the Chief Public Health Officer, at this time, the following class of persons are exempt:

  • Technicians or specialists specified by a government, manufacturer, or company, as required to install, inspect, maintain or repair equipment necessary to support critical infrastructure (Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing);
  • Persons, including a captain, deckhand, observer, inspector, scientist, veterinarian and any other person supporting commercial or research open water aquaculture-related activities, who enter Canada for the purpose of carrying out aquaculture-related activities, including fishing, transporting fish to and from the aquaculture facility, treating fish for pests or pathogens, repairs, provisioning of aquaculture-related vessels or aquaculture facilities or exchange of crew and who proceed directly to an open water facility or vessel upon entry to Canada;
  • Officials of a foreign government, including border services officers, immigration enforcement officers, law enforcement and correctional officers, who are escorting individuals travelling to Canada or from Canada pursuant to a legal process such as deportation, extradition or international transfer of offenders; and
  • Officials of the Government of Canada, a provincial or a foreign government, including law enforcement, border enforcement, and immigration enforcement officers, who enter Canada for the purposes of law, border or immigration enforcement, or national security activities that support active investigations, ensure continuity of enforcement operations or activities, or transfer information or evidence pursuant to, or in support, of a legal process; and who are required to provide their services within 14 days of entry and have reasonable rationales for the immediacy of the work and the inability to plan for a 14 day quarantine.

Upon arriving at a point of entry into Canada, those who fall under the above categories, will not be prohibited from entering the country, provided the standard Government of Canada documentation for foreign nationals is presented and verified by a Canada Border Service Agency Screening Officer.

Please be aware that the mandatory 14-day isolation period for asymptomatic people does not apply to those who meet the exemption criteria. However, should any person - with no exception - arrive at the border exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they are subject to the isolation orders issued by a Quarantine Officer under the Quarantine Act. This could include home isolation or even immediate referral to a health care facility. This is in the best interest of both the traveller and all other Canadians.

Group Exemption from Quarantine under 6(1)(e) of the Order

While an exemption from quarantine may be granted under the federal Quarantine, Isolation, and Other Obligations Order, you are encouraged to consult provincial and territorial resources for any additional restrictions regarding mandatory quarantine, as stricter measures may apply.

Pursuant to paragraph 6(1)(e) of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation, and Other Obligations), made pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act, and as amended from time-to-time, the Chief Public Health Officer may determine an exempt class of persons who provide an essential service while in Canada, if the person complies with any conditions imposed on them by the Chief Public Health Officer to minimize the risk of introduction or spread of COVID-19.

As determined by the Chief Public Health Officer, at this time, the following class of persons are exempt from the requirement to quarantine upon entry into Canada:

  • Persons in the trade or transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods or people, including truck drivers and crew members on any aircraft, shipping vessel or train, and that cross the border while performing their duties or for the purpose of performing their duties;
  • Persons who must cross the border regularlyFootnote * to go to their normal place of employment, including critical infrastructure workers (Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing), provided they do not directly care for persons 65 years of age or older within the first 14 days after their entry to CanadaFootnote *;
  • Technicians or specialists specified by a government, manufacturer, or company, who enter Canada as required for the purpose of maintaining, repairing, installing or inspecting equipment necessary to support critical infrastructure (Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing) and are required to provide their services within 14 days of their entry to Canada and have reasonable rationales for the immediacy of the work and the inability to plan for a 14 day quarantine;
  • Persons, including a captain, deckhand, observer, inspector, scientist, veterinarian and any other person supporting commercial or research open water aquaculture-related activities, who enter Canada for the purpose of carrying out aquaculture-related activities, who enter Canada for the purpose of carrying out aquaculture-related activities, including fishing, transporting fish to and from the aquaculture facility, treating fish for pests or pathogens, repairs, provisioning of aquaculture-related vessels or aquaculture facilities or exchange of crew and who proceed directly to an open water facility or vessel upon entry to Canada;
  • Emergency service providers, including firefighters, peace officers, and paramedics, who return from providing such services in another country and are required to provide their services within 14 days of their return to Canada;
  • Commercial conveyance operators repatriating human remains into Canada;
  • Officials of the Government of Canada or a foreign government, including border services officers, immigration enforcement officers, law enforcement and correctional officers, who are escorting individuals travelling to Canada or from Canada pursuant to a legal process such as deportation, extradition or international transfer of offenders;
  • Officials of the Government of Canada, a provincial or a foreign government, including law enforcement, border enforcement, and immigration enforcement officers, who enter Canada for the purposes of law, border or immigration enforcement, or national security activities that support active investigations, ensure continuity of enforcement operations or activities, or transfer information or evidence pursuant to, or in support, of a legal process; and who are required to provide their services within 14 days of entry and have reasonable rationales for the immediacy of the work and the inability to plan for a 14 day quarantine;
  • Members of a crew for any conveyance who are re-entering Canada after having left to undertake mandatory training relating to the operation of a conveyance, and who are required by their employer to return to work as members of a crew on a conveyance within 14 days of their return to Canada; and
  • Asymptomatic Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person with status under the Indian Act accompanying a person seeking medical care pursuant to section 6(1)(i.1), if the person is either:
    • An asymptomatic or symptomatic minor child or dependent child; or
    • An asymptomatic person requiring assistance in accessing the essential medical services or treatments

Please be aware that the mandatory 14-day isolation period for asymptomatic people does not apply to those who meet the exemption criteria. During the 14-day period that begins on the day in which they enter Canada, persons exempt from mandatory quarantine must wear a mask that a screening officer or quarantine officer considers suitable when they are in public settings, including when entering Canada. They must also maintain a list of the names and contact information of each person with whom they come into close contact and the locations visited during that period. Exemption from the requirement to quarantine does not automatically infer exemptions from any of the other pre-arrival or post-arrival measures.

Should any person - with no exception - arrive at the border exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they are subject to the isolation orders issued by a border official under the Quarantine Act. This could include home isolation, a quarantine facility or even immediate referral to a health care facility. Symptomatic persons arriving at the Canadian land border will not be permitted entry unless they have the right to access Canadian health care. This is in the best interest of both the traveller and all other Canadians.

Government-Authorized Accommodation Exclusion for Essential Service Providers under 6(1)(e) of the Order

Pursuant to paragraph 6(1)(e) of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) (the Order), made pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act, the Chief Public Health Officer determines that the following class of persons provide an essential service and are therefore temporarily exempt from the Government-Authorized Accommodation (GAA) requirement upon entry by aircraft, as long as they adhere to specific conditions to minimize the risk of introduction or spread of COVID-19:

  • Asymptomatic foreign national whose application for a work permit under subparagraph 200(1)(c)(ii.1) or (iii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations has been approved and who has received written notice of the approval but who has not yet been issued the permit, or who holds a valid work permit issued under subparagraph 200(1)(c)(ii.1) or (iii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, for work in an occupation included in one of the following groups of the National Occupation Classification:
    1. 0821 - Managers in Agriculture
    2. 0822 - Managers in Horticulture
    3. 8252 - Agricultural and Related Service Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
    4. 8255 - Landscaping and Ground Maint. Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services
    5. 8431 - General Farm Workers
    6. 8432 - Nursery and Greenhouse workers
    7. 8611 - Harvesting Labourers
    8. 6331 - Butchers, Meat Cutters and Fishmongers - Retail And Wholesale
    9. 9461 - Process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated products processing
    10. 9462 - Industrial Butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
    11. 9463 - Fish and Seafood Plant Workers
    12. 9617 - Labourers in Food, Beverage and Associated Products processing
    13. 9618 - Labourers in Fish and Seafood Processing

Exemptions from pre-arrival molecular testing for travellers:

Exemptions from post-arrival molecular testing for travellers:

Exemptions from the 3-day requirement to stay at a Government-Authorized Accommodation

Types of accepted molecular tests

Quarantine exemption list

Upon arrival at Canadian ports of entry, travellers are required to follow the instructions of a government of Canada representative designated to administer the Emergency Orders under the Quarantine Act. Government of Canada representatives will:

  • administer the Emergency Orders for COVID-19 on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
  • determine if an individual's travel purpose for travelling to Canada falls within the definition of the exemptions of the Emergency Orders
  • assess travellers for potential risks to public health, in accordance with their designation under the Quarantine Act

If you require assistance in interpreting any of the Orders in Council currently in effect, or if you have additional questions about the Emergency Orders, please direct your enquiry to phac.emergencyorder-decretdurgencecovid19.aspc@canada.ca.

Please note you do not require a letter from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in order to be considered exempt from an Emergency Order if you meet one of the specified conditions. PHAC can provide opinions on the interpretation of the exemptions as it relates to individual situations, but does not issue exemption letters to travellers.

To support a thorough analysis in a timely manner, please include the following information, at minimum:

  • number of travellers and country of citizenship of each traveller
  • planned travel dates/frequency of travel
  • specific purpose for travel to Canada
  • an explanation as to why you are of the view that you qualify for exemption and are unable to plan for a 14 day quarantine
  • please include any relevant information to support your explanation (Note: do not include copies of personal/sensitive documentation (e.g. images of passports, licences)

Archived:

Group Exemptions

Pursuant to paragraph 3(l)(ii) of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada), made pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act, and as amended from time-to-time, the Chief Public Health Officer may determine a class of persons who provide an essential service while in Canada.
As determined by the Chief Public Health Officer, at this time, the following class of persons are exempt:

  • Persons making urgent medical deliveries of cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs, or other similar lifesaving human body parts, that are required for patient care in Canada.
  • Crew members of a vessel within the meaning of section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 other than a pleasure craft within the meaning of that section.
  • Persons who are licensed health care professionals with proof of employment in Canada.
  • Those who fall under the above categories and arrive by means of an aircraft, will not be prohibited from entering Canada. By order of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, these individuals must present an exemption form upon entering Canada. Additional documentation related to the essential service may also be requested.

Please be aware that the 14-day isolation period for asymptomatic people is recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada but is not mandatory at this time. However, should any person - with no exception - arrive at the border exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they are subject to the isolation orders issued by a Quarantine Officer under the Quarantine Act. This could include home isolation or even immediate referral to a health care facility. This is in the best interest of both the traveller and all other Canadians.

If you require an exemption form or if you have additional questions about the Emergency Order, email us at: phac.emergencyorder-decretdurgencecovid19.aspc@canada.ca.

Group Exemptions

Pursuant to paragraph 3(1)(l)(ii) of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any country other than the United States), issued pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act, the Chief Public Health Officer may determine a class of persons who provide an essential service while in Canada.

As determined by the Chief Public Health Officer, at this time, the following class of persons are exempt:

  • Persons making necessary medical deliveries within during or within a reasonable period of time of the duration of the Order in Council Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any country other than the United States) or within reasonable time after that, of cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs, or other similar lifesaving human body parts, that are required for patient care in Canada.
  • Crew members of a vessel within the meaning of section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 other than a pleasure craft within the meaning of that section.
  • Persons who are licensed health care professionals with proof of employment in Canada.

Those who fall under the above categories and arrive by means of an aircraft, will not be prohibited from entering Canada. By order of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, these individuals must present an exemption form upon entering Canada. Additional documentation related to the essential service may also be requested.

Please be aware that the 14-day isolation period for asymptomatic people is recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada but is not mandatory at this time. However, should any person - with no exception - arrive at the border exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they are subject to the isolation orders issued by a Quarantine Officer under the Quarantine Act. This could include home isolation or even immediate referral to a health care facility. This is in the best interest of both the traveler and all other Canadians.

If you require an exemption form or if you have additional questions about the Emergency Order, email us at: phac.emergencyorder-decretdurgencecovid19.aspc@canada.ca.

Group Exemptions

Pursuant to paragraph 3(j)(ii)of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any country other than the United States), issued pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act, the Chief Public Health Officer may determine a class of persons who provide an essential service while in Canada.

As determined by the Chief Public Health Officer, at this time, the following class of persons are exempt:

  • Asymptomatic persons, including captains, deckhands, observers, inspectors, scientists and other persons supporting commercial or research fishing-related activities, who enter Canada aboard a "Canadian fishing vessel" or "foreign fishing vessel", as these phrases are defined under section 2 of the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, for the purpose of carrying out fishing or fishing-related activities, including offloading of fish, repairs, provisioning the vessel and exchange of crew.
  • Technicians specified by a government, manufacturer, or company, as required to maintain or repair equipment necessary to support critical infrastructure (Energy and Utilities, Information and Communication Technologies, Finance, Health, Food, Water, Transportation, Safety, Government and Manufacturing).

Upon arriving at a point of entry into Canada, those who fall under the above categories, will not be prohibited from entering the country, provided the standard Government of Canada documentation for foreign nationals is presented and verified by a Canada Border Service Agency Screening Officer.

Please be aware that the mandatory 14-day isolation period for asymptomatic people now required by the Public Health Agency of Canada does not apply to those who meet the exemption criteria. However, should any person - with no exception - arrive at the border exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they are subject to the isolation orders issued by a Quarantine Officer under the Quarantine Act. This could include home isolation or even immediate referral to a health care facility. This is in the best interest of both the traveller and all other Canadians.

If you require assistance in interpreting the exemptions or if you have additional questions about the Emergency Order, email us at: phac.emergencyorder-decretdurgencecovid19.aspc@canada.ca.

Group Exemptions

Pursuant to paragraph 3(e) of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation), issued pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act, the Chief Public Health Officer may determine a class of persons who provide an essential service while in Canada.

As determined by the Chief Public Health Officer, at this time, the following class of persons are exempt:

  • Persons making necessary medical deliveries during, or within a reasonable period of time of the duration of, the Order in Council Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation) of cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs, or other similar body parts, that are required for patient care in Canada;
  • Asymptomatic persons in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people, including truck drivers and crew on any plane, train or marine vessel, and that cross the border while performing their duties or for the purpose of performing their duties;
  • Asymptomatic persons, including captains, deckhands, observers, inspectors, scientists and other persons supporting commercial or research fishing-related activities, who enter Canada aboard a "Canadian fishing vessel" or "foreign fishing vessel", as these phrases are defined under section 2 of the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, for the purpose of carrying out fishing or fishing-related activities, including offloading of fish, repairs, provisioning the vessel and exchange of crew;
  • Asymptomatic persons who have to cross the border regularly to go to work, including those in the health care sector or critical infrastructure workers; and
  • Asymptomatic persons who have to cross the border to provide or receive essential services, including emergency responders and personnel providing essential services to Canadians related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Upon arriving at a point of entry into Canada, those who fall under the above categories, will not be prohibited from entering the country. By order of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, these individuals must present an exemption form upon entering Canada. Additional documentation related to the essential service may also be requested.

Please be aware that the mandatory 14-day isolation period for asymptomatic people now required by the Public Health Agency of Canada does not apply to those who meet the exemption criteria. However, should any person - with no exception - arrive at the border exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they are subject to the isolation orders issued by a Quarantine Officer under the Quarantine Act. This could include home isolation or even immediate referral to a health care facility. This is in the best interest of both the traveller and all other Canadians.

If you require an exemption form or if you have additional questions about the Emergency Order, email us at: phac.emergencyorder-decretdurgencecovid19.aspc@canada.ca.

Footnote *

NB. This exemption applies to persons who must regularly cross Canadian international borders to go to their normal place of employment.

NB. If direct medical care is needed for persons over age 65, an individual request outlining the precautionary public health measures intended for interaction with this older age group must be submitted for consideration by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

Return to footnote * referrer

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

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