Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel advice
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
An official global travel advisory is in effect: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
Check out the Pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice.
If you need financial help to return to Canada, check COVID-19: Financial help for Canadians outside Canada.
Avoid all cruise ship travel due to COVID-19.
On this page
- For Canadians who have recently travelled
- For all Canadians who have not travelled outside of the country
- Exemptions to travel restrictions
- Avoid all non-essential travel
- Avoid all travel on cruise ships
- Safety and security abroad
- Registration of Canadians Abroad
For Canadians who have recently travelled
The Government of Canada has put in place an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that applies to all travellers arriving in Canada in order to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
Travellers with symptoms: mandatory isolation
If you have recently returned to Canada and you have symptoms, you must ISOLATE. This is mandatory. If required, immediate medical attention will be provided upon arrival in Canada.
Mandatory isolation means you MUST:
- go directly to the place where you will isolate, without delay, and stay there for 14 days
- go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle
- stay INSIDE your home
- do not leave your place of isolation unless it is to seek medical attention
- do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation such as buses and taxis
- stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible
- do not have visitors and limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children
- do not isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable people, such as older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions
- if your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions
If you have symptoms but do not have a place to isolate, you will be required to isolate for 14 days in a facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.
Travellers without symptoms: mandatory quarantine
If you have recently returned to Canada and you have no symptoms, you must QUARANTINE (self-isolate) yourself. This is mandatory. You are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.
This means you MUST:
- go directly to your place of quarantine, without delay, and stay there for 14 days
- do not go to school, work, other public areas and community settings
- monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19
- arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for you
- do 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 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others
You can take public transportation to get to your place of self-isolation after you arrive in Canada, but you must not stop on the way home, and practise physical (social) distancing at all times.
Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.
If you develop symptoms within 14 days:
- isolate yourself from others
- immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and:
- describe your symptoms and travel history
- follow their instructions carefully
Check your exposure risk
Have you been on a flight, cruise or train, or at a public gathering? Check the listed exposure locations to see if you may have been exposed to COVID-19.
For all Canadians who have not travelled outside of the country
Stay at home as much as possible. All Canadians should be practicing physical (social) distancing. Even if you don't have symptoms of COVID-19, you could become infected by others.
- stay at home unless you have to go to work
- talk to your employer about working at home if possible
- avoid all non-essential trips in your community
- do not gather in groups
- limit contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
- go outside to exercise but stay close to home
- if you leave your home, always keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others
- household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled in the last 14 days
You can go for a walk if you:
- have not been diagnosed with COVID-19
- do not have symptoms of COVID-19
- have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days
If you go out for a walk, do not congregate and always practise physical (social) distancing by keeping at least two metres apart from others at all times.
Exemptions to travel restrictions
The continued global movement of goods and people and the ongoing delivery of essential services will be important for Canada's response to COVID-19.
Consequently, several categories of people are exempted from this order because they provide critical services, if they have no symptoms. These include people who:
- are making necessary medical deliveries of cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs, or other similar lifesaving human body parts, as required for patient care
- work in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people, including truck drivers, 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
- cross the border regularly to go to work, including in the healthcare sector or critical infrastructure workers for the purpose of performing their duties
- 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
Workers in these sectors should:
- practise social distancing (maintain a distance of 2 metres from others)
- closely self-monitor
Should they exhibit any symptoms, they MUST isolate and contact their local public health authority.
Employers in these sectors should:
- conduct active daily monitoring of their staff for COVID-19 symptoms (checking for cough, fever or shortness of breath)
- use the risk-informed decision-making guidelines for workplaces/businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic
Avoid all non-essential travel
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 and other measures 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. Canadian travellers should return to Canada as soon as possible.
Contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.
Making the choice to stay at home and to not travel outside of Canada is the best way to protect yourself, your family and the most vulnerable groups in our communities from the spread of COVID-19.
Although it is not advised, if you are still considering travel outside of Canada, you should do the following:
- check the Pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice before travelling
- know the health risks for your destination
- understand the risks of your safety and security abroad
- ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted
It is important to remember that if you travel abroad, you could be subject to the measures of other countries. Your one-week trip may become much longer. You may also have reduced access to quality health care.
If you must travel
If you must travel, take precautions against respiratory illnesses, and seek medical attention if you become sick.
During your trip:
- Avoid spending time in large crowds or crowded areas.
- Avoid contact with sick people, especially if they have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing.
- Be aware of the local situation and follow local public health advice.
All travellers are reminded to follow these health precautions:
Wash your hands:
- Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available. It's a good idea to always keep some with you when you travel.
Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:
- Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
- If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
Monitor your health:
If you become sick when you are travelling, avoid contact with others except to see a health care professional.
If you feel sick during your flight to Canada or upon arrival, inform the flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer.
If you do not have symptoms but believe you were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, report this information to a Canada border services agent on arrival in Canada. This is required under the Quarantine Act. The Canada border services agent will provide instructions for you to follow.
We have put messaging on arrivals screens at international airports that will help guide travellers to inform a border services officer if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
In addition, information on what symptoms to identify and how to contact local health authorities will be provided to arriving travellers.
Avoid all travel on cruise ships
The Government of Canada is advising that you avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, until further notice.
Cruise passengers include travellers from around the world who may be arriving from areas with known or unknown spread of COVID-19. The virus can spread quickly on board cruises due to the close contact between passengers. Older people and people with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition are at a higher risk of developing severe disease.
Recent cruise ship outbreaks of COVID-19 indicate that a large number of individuals onboard can become infected. While the majority of affected passengers may experience mild symptoms, there have been a significant number of cases requiring hospitalization and critical care, and some deaths have been reported.
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, many countries outside of Canada are implementing policies and restrictions in order to contain the global outbreak. These restrictions may impact a cruise traveller's:
- ability to disembark
- access to health care
While abroad, if an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs on your cruise ship:
- you could be subject to quarantine procedures, on-board ship or in a foreign country
- the range of consular services available to those on cruise ships, in particular in situations of quarantine, may be significantly restricted by local authorities
- upon return to Canada, you will be required to remain in mandatory isolation for 14 days at a location determined by the Chief Public Health Officer as per the terms of any applicable emergency orders
Although it is not advised, Canadians who choose to voyage on a cruise ship should also be aware that they may not be offered the opportunity to return to Canada on a government-organized repatriation flight, or could be responsible for the costs of repatriation travel.
Safety and security abroad
The Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
However, essential travel may need to occur and travellers 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 governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify with the foreign diplomatic mission of your destination to see if its authorities have implemented any specific restrictions related to this situation. These include entry requirements, border closures and flight suspensions.
To ensure you are aware of the latest developments on this evolving situation, we recommend:
- monitoring the news
- reading all travel advice and advisories for your destination
If you are in an affected destination, we recommend:
- following the instructions of local authorities
- signing up to our Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive important updates
Registration of Canadians Abroad
Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.
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