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 the Pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice.
Check our Travel Advice and Advisories for more information.
Check our advice on travel insurance.
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 travellers arriving in Canada
- Avoid all non-essential travel
- Avoid all travel on cruise ships
- Safety and security abroad
- Registration of Canadians Abroad
For travellers arriving in Canada
The Government of Canada has put in place emergency measures that require mandatory 14-day self-isolation for all persons entering Canada, even if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Some provinces and territories may have specific recommendations for certain groups, such as health care workers. These efforts will help contain the outbreak and limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
Upon return to Canada, you will be asked if you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing. If you have any of these symptoms, you must:
- go immediately to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle
- isolate in a place where you will not be in contact with vulnerable people, such as older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions
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.
If you do not have symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days and monitor your health for cough, fever or difficulty breathing. If you develop these symptoms within 14 days:
- continue to 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
- do not have visitors, especially older adults, or those with medical conditions who are at a higher risk of developing serious illness
- wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing
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, an exemption to the order to self-isolate for 14 days should be provided to workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people. For example, this exemption would apply to:
- healthy workers in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people across the border, such as truck drivers and crew on any plane, train or marine vessel crossing the border
- healthy people who have to cross the border to go to work, including health care providers and critical infrastructure workers
Workers in these sectors should:
- practise social distancing (maintain a distance of 2 metres from others)
- closely self-monitor
- self-isolate and contact their local public health authority should they exhibit any symptoms
It is recommended that employers in these sectors conduct active daily monitoring of their staff for COVID-19 symptoms (checking for cough, fever or shortness of breath).
Be aware that local public health authorities at the workers' point of destination in Canada may have specific requirements. For example, for those working in the health care sector and others who are likely to come into close contact with high-risk groups for COVID-19.
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.
Airlines have cancelled flights. 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.
If you have plans to travel, contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.
Canadians who are outside of Canada should find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada and should consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited.
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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