Travel updates: The US land border restrictions on non-essential travel will be in place until at least September 21st. COVID-19 vaccine passports for international travel will be available to Canadians starting this fall. Fully vaccinated travellers from the US are now allowed to visit Canada for non-essential purposes. Other fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be able to travel to Canada as of September 7th (tentative). We’ve got the latest coronavirus travel advice and updates on Canada’s travel restrictions below.
Coronavirus travel advice for Canadians
Please note that this page was last updated on August 31, 2021. All coronavirus travel advice and restrictions for Canada noted here have been created for general guidance only. We strongly recommend reading the latest coronavirus travel advice from your local authorities and governments, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO), a trusted source of global health news and information.
Want to know if there are any COVID-19 exposures near you? Find out the latest information on infections in your area in Canada by downloading the free COVID Alert App. Users can safely track and report coronavirus exposures via Bluetooth technology.
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Canada’s travel advisory
As of March 19, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) asks that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of the country. Canada’s cruise ship ban is set to expire in November 2021.
After 17 months of a closed border, fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents can now travel to Canada for non-essential purposes as of August 9th. All travellers must be fully inoculated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to arrival. A pre-departure molecular PCR test for travel will also be required. Children under the age of 12 travelling to Canada with their parents or guardians will not have to quarantine. Click here to find out which COVID-19 vaccines are approved for travel to Canada.
Fully vaccinated travellers from other nations will be allowed to travel to Canada starting September 7th, but please note that this is a tentative date. Canada’s gradual reopening will go forward “provided that the domestic epidemiological situation remains favourable.”
All travellers arriving in Canada should submit their required travel documents via the ArriveCAN app.
International travel restrictions in Canada: update
As of January 7, 2021, all travellers entering Canada (five years and older) from an international destination must show proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular (PCR) test result taken a maximum of 72 hours before departure. This pre-entry test result is currently required regardless of vaccination status.
It was announced in August that vaccine passports will be available to Canadians for international travel starting this fall.
The government also stated that all federally regulated commercial air, train, and cruise ship employees will be required to be fully vaccinated. This policy will also be extended to certain travellers, which means that proof of vaccination will soon be required for interprovincial travel in Canada. These new restrictions are set to be introduced “no later than the end of October.”
Wondering if you can travel to Canada from your current destination? You can read the official guidance on the latest travel restrictions for entering Canada by air here.
Canada land border update
The US extended its restrictions on non-essential travel to Canada and Mexico via the land border until at least September 21, 2021.
From February 15, 2021, all persons over the age of five travelling to Canada, vaccinated or unvaccinated, are required to present a negative coronavirus PCR test result taken from the previous 72 hours at departure.
Please note that to enter Canada at this time, COVID-19 antigen tests are currently not accepted. You can read the full government guidance and entry checklist for the Canada/US land border here.
Testing on arrival at the Canadian border is also in effect. Arrivals at the land border will receive two COVID-19 At Home Specimen Collection Kits (fully vaccinated travellers will only receive one arrival test). The testing kits must be used on the day of arrival to Canada, as well as on Day 8. These kits are to be used with the guidance of a telehealth healthcare provider. Some border crossings have services on-site to help arrivals with their COVID test. Travellers are encouraged to create an account in order to save time at the border.
Any Canadian travellers (two years and older) who need to transit by air through the United States to get back to Canada must show a negative COVID-19 test result from the previous 72 hours before boarding a flight to the US (in this case, antigen tests are accepted).
Are you fully vaccinated? Here are the requirements for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada during COVID-19.
Latest public health updates
Health Canada has officially approved the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford, and the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines for COVID-19. You can read more about the vaccines and the NACI’s (National Advisory Committee on Immunization) recommendations here.
Transport Canada requires all persons six years and older to wear a face mask which can cover their nose, mouth, and chin before boarding an airplane. Persons between the ages of two and five are encouraged to wear a mask, and their parents or guardians must have a mask ready for the child in case it is required.
Children under the age of two are not required to wear a mask. Find out which type of masks are accepted and not accepted for air travellers here.
Temperature screening stations are set up at Canada’s busiest airports, and travellers will be subject to a health check before boarding a plane.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine free in Canada?
The Government of Canada website states that vaccines will be available free of charge to “everyone in Canada over the course of 2021.” Wondering where the vaccine doses are going? Each province has recognized their individual priority groups for the vaccine distribution, and you can read the latest reporting here on the COVID-19 vaccine tracker website.
Canada’s provincial restrictions
The province of Ontario is in Step 3 of its reopening phase. You can see the details of Ontario’s reopening plan and current travel restrictions here.
British Columbia is currently at Step 3 of its restart plan. You can read the full details of BC’s Restart here. BC vaccine passport program is set to begin on Monday, September 13th. Proof of vaccination will be required for a number of social and recreational events and activities throughout the province.
Nova Scotia is currently in Phase 4 of its reopening plan. For interprovincial travel, anyone who wants to travel to the province from outside Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland & Labrador must apply for a Safe Check-in Form. You can get more information on travelling to Nova Scotia and the Safe Check-in Form here.
We encourage all Canadians to check with local authorities for the latest updates in their region. See this coronavirus tracker map for the latest reporting on COVID-19 cases in Canada by province and territory.
For the latest information on your local travel restrictions, the Globe and Mail has an extensive list of all coronavirus travel restrictions and health advice across Canada—for more information on health guidance, travel alerts, border restrictions, and lockdown information for each province and territory, please click here.
Wondering where Canadians can travel during COVID?
For other coronavirus travel advice and updates, including the latest information on countries currently open to Canadians, click on the link below for the list of countries open to Canadian passport holders.
And for any additional information on coronavirus travel advisories and restrictions, please visit the Government of Canada’s travel advisory page.
Canadian airline flight schedules and flexible travel policies
- Air Canada has reopened a number of its previously suspended flight routes over the summer. New domestic and international routes have also been added to its schedule.
- For Air Canada’s most updated flight schedule for domestic and international destinations, click here.
- Travellers can make unlimited changes to their flight without a fee for all new or existing flight bookings until September 30, 2021. If you need to cancel your flight, you can change the flight ticket for an Air Canada Travel Voucher to be used for a later date or for Aeroplan Rewards Miles, where you’ll get 65% bonus miles if you’re an Aeroplan member. Travellers can request a refund if their flight is cancelled and they are not rebooked on a flight within three hours of the original departure time or arrival time.
- For more information on Air Canada’s latest flight policies, travel insurance updates, or to cancel or change a flight, please visit the airline’s COVID-19 travel updates page.
- After suspending services on February 14, 2021, Air Transat has resumed flight operations to vacation destinations from Canada. Some new flight routes to Europe, the parts of the Caribbean, and the US have also been added.
- Travel credits will be given to Air Transat passengers for any cancelled flights due to COVID-19. If you’re wondering whether or not you are eligible for a full refund rather than a travel credit, you can fill out an eligibility form on Transat’s dedicated page here.
- With Air Transat’s ‘Book with peace of mind’ flight booking policy, all change fees will be waived for any new flights booked by September 30, 2021, if the change or flight cancellation is made up to 24 hours before departure.
- For more information or to cancel or change a flight, please visit Air Transat’s coronavirus travel updates page.
Other airline updates: Vacation airline Sunwing has resumed flight operations to select sun destinations from Toronto Pearson and Montreal-Trudeau airports. Porter Airlines is set to resume its flight services to domestic destinations by September 8th, and to select destinations in the US by September 17th.
- Turkish Airlines is currently serving passengers to over 200 destinations around the world. Flexible booking policies are also in place for travellers who want to purchase flights with the airline.
- For more information on Turkish Airlines’ flight schedule, click here.
- With Turkish Airlines’ flexible change policies, customers are currently offered unlimited changes to their tickets until March 31, 2022 (inclusive) for flight tickets purchased by December 31, 2021 (inclusive).
- For more information on Turkish Airlines’ flights and flexible travel policies, please click here.
- WestJet has resumed flight services of some domestic and international flight routes. Services to Atlantic Canada and parts of Western Canada are available, including international flights to Mexico, the Caribbean, and the UK.
- For the latest WestJet flight route information, visit their flight schedule page.
- Individuals who book a flight before September 30, 2021, will be able to change or cancel their flight without a fee (one-time policy) as long as the change or cancellation is made more than 24 hours before departure. Passengers are also eligible for no-charge COVID-19 travel insurance on certain qualifying flights. Read more about WestJet’s COVID-19 insurance policy here.
- To check the latest status of your WestJet flight, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Have you been impacted by flight cancellations and other changes to your travel itinerary due to COVID-19? Get more useful advice with these posts on what to do if your flight is cancelled and what to do if your hotel booking is cancelled.
Coronavirus travel advice: FAQs
While the news is constantly evolving when it comes to coronavirus travel advice in Canada and around the world, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions:
Take the normal health and safety precautions when you’re travelling as you would at home during this time. Routinely wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) or use an alcohol-based gel to thoroughly cleanse your hands. Make sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, as the virus can likely enter your system through those areas of your body.
Remember to wear a face mask in public indoor and outdoor spaces. If someone appears to be ill around you, make sure to keep a safe distance of 2-3 metres or more. You can read more about the WHO’s coronavirus public health advice here.
It’s best to call your airline, your hotel, or your travel agent that you booked the trip with if you want to cancel or postpone any travel because of COVID-19. You can find more details, including contact information, on our coronavirus and travel help page.
Call the airline or online travel agent you booked with if your flight gets cancelled. With so many travel plans changed recently, it may take longer than usual to speak to someone who can help, but keep trying. If you have travel insurance, get in touch with your insurance provider as well.
The refunds provided by your insurance company for trip cancellations always depends on the type of coverage you purchased. Check your travel insurance provider’s website for their latest coronavirus travel restrictions and flight cancellation policies, and give them a call to find out more about your travel and medical insurance coverage during these times.
On that note, we also recommend booking flights on airlines with flexible cancellation and change policies. Numerous airlines have recently added flexible policies as well as travel insurance with some qualifying flights, so check for the policy that works for you.
Are you a Canadian who is currently travelling or living abroad? All Canadians needing assistance while outside of Canada can contact Global Affairs Canada by phone through one of their 50 toll-free numbers, or you can email them at email@example.com. And wherever your destination, make sure you get in contact with your nearest Canadian embassy or consulate. Click here for the full list of Canadian embassies/consulates abroad.
And wherever you are in the world, you can contact the Government of Canada coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397.
Do you feel as if your mental health is struggling, especially during this global pandemic? Bounce Back is a free program for Canadians by the Canadian Mental Health Association that offers a number of resources to help you with your mental health and wellness. Check their website for more information.
This page has been created for general guidance on coronavirus travel advice only, and has not been designed for you or any specific circumstances relevant to you. It is highly recommended that you check your government’s latest travel advice before travelling or making any decisions to travel.