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Coronavirus Travel Advice for Canadians

Latest updates: As of January 7th, Canada requires all international passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR) 72 hours before flight departure. Your two-week quarantine plan is also required by airport officials. The Canada/U.S./Mexico land border travel restrictions have been extended until at least February 21, 2021. We’ve got all of the coronavirus travel advice and information for you below.

Coronavirus travel advice in Canada

Information is changing around coronavirus travel advice and restrictions every day, which can make it hard to keep up with the facts that are most relevant to you.

We’re working daily to keep this coronavirus updates page current regarding all travel, health, and safety news surrounding COVID-19 in Canada and around the globe. Whether you need it now, or in the near future, it could be worth a bookmark. Please note that this page was last updated on January 25, 2021. To our knowledge, the coronavirus travel information on this page was correct at the time of publication. However, given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the information will vary by location and change at short notice and over time. We will do our best to keep this page up-to-date.

All coronavirus travel updates for Canadians noted here have been created for general guidance only. We strongly recommend reading coronavirus travel advice from your local authorities and governments, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as guidance from 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 by downloading the COVID Alert App. Users can safely track and report coronavirus exposures via Bluetooth technology.

International travel restrictions Canada

As of March 19, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada asks that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of the country. The government and the CDC also continue to advise avoiding booking travel on any cruises outside of Canada until further notice. For more information on all cruise ship travel restrictions, click here.

In his daily address to the nation on January 19th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted to reporters that Canadians should avoid any and all non-essential international travel until further notice. Because travel bans can come without any warning, he suggested that any travel abroad should not be happening at this time.

Please note that all international arrivals to Canada (residents and non-residents) via air must submit a quarantine plan before boarding a flight to enter the country. The submission can be done through the ArriveCAN app, and you can get more details here.

Effective January 7, 2021, anyone travelling to Canada (five years and older) from an international destination must legally show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR) 72 hours before your flight is scheduled to depart for Canada. You can read the latest information here.

All non-essential travel between the Canada and United States land border was restricted as of March 21, 2020, and extensions have been made on a monthly basis ever since. The land border travel restrictions between Canada/U.S./Mexico have been recently extended until at least February 21, 2021.

The CDC announced on January 12, 2021 that all international arrivals by air to the U.S. will also be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. These new travel rules will go into effect January 26, 2021. On January 21, 2021, an Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel was signed by the President of the U.S., and you can read it in full here.

COVID-19 travel updates by province

Travel between provinces and territories in Canada is remains restricted at this time, as many regions throughout the country are currently dealing with some of the largest numbers of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. Some provinces, such as Ontario and Alberta, have declared a province-wide public health emergency and mandatory measures are now in place.

For anyone in Nova Scotia, the latest government guidance requires anyone arriving from the neighbouring province of New Brunswick to quarantine for two weeks. For more information on these new travel restrictions in the Maritimes, click here.

The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have imposed new restrictions and lockdowns throughout their regions. Officials are asking anyone who leaves Ontario to self-isolate for 14 days upon return. As of January 9th, Quebec is under a four-week mandatory curfew in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For the Quebec curfew, all residents are required to stay home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. every day. You can read the full details here.

We encourage everyone to check with local authorities for the latest updates in their home province. For the latest reporting on COVID-19 cases in Canada by province and territory, see the map here.

The Globe and Mail have also created an extensive list of all local travel restrictions and health advice across Canada—for more information on health guidance, travel alerts, and border restrictions for each province and territory, please click here.

Coronavirus travel restrictions: Latest updates for Canada

As of March 16, 2020, all non-residents are banned from entering Canada with limited exceptions. Some exceptions for entry have been made for extended family members, international students, and some foreign nationals on compassionate grounds. See the latest government updates on coronavirus travel restrictions to Canada for more information.

These coronavirus travel restrictions include all mandatory quarantine requirements, as all individuals who enter Canada must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days upon arrival, even if you are not showing symptoms of COVID-19. Arrivals in Canada who are showing coronavirus symptoms will immediately have to completely isolate themselves for 14 days, inclusive of the day of their return to Canada. Note that these quarantine requirements are also applicable to current residents of Canada as well.

Health Canada has officially approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine for COVID-19. The Government of Canada website states that free vaccines will be available to people “living 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 more about that here.

Transport Canada requires all persons over the age of two years to wear a face mask before boarding a plane and other forms of public transit throughout Canada. Temperature checks (contact-free) are also mandatory before boarding a plane on an international flight to Canada, and temperature screening stations have been set up in the departure terminals of Canada’s busiest airports.

Are you an essential worker who has to cross the border into Canada for work? You can apply for an industry workers exemption for the mandatory 14-day self-isolation here.

Travel restrictions map for COVID-19

For other coronavirus travel advice and updates, including the latest information on countries currently open to Canadians, click on the link below for the full country list of the latest travel restrictions for Canadian passport holders.

Coronavirus travel advice and the latest restrictions for Canadian travellers: map
Where’s open at the moment? See our map and find out.

For any additional information on coronavirus travel restrictions, please visit the Government of Canada’s travel advisory page.  

Airlines and flexible travel policies for COVID-19

Air Canada

Updated flight schedules

  • Air Canada has suspended a number of its domestic and international flight routes. Some suspended routes include Toronto-Quebec City, Vancouver-Puerto Vallarta, and Montreal-Paris.
  • For Air Canada’s most updated flight schedule, click here

Change and cancellation policy

  • Travellers can make a (one-time) change to their flight booking without a fee for all new or existing flight bookings made until February 28, 2021, for travel between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2022. If you need to cancel your ticket, you can change the 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.
  • The airline has recently collaborated with Manulife, where Canadian travellers can receive complimentary travel insurance included with eligible round-trip flights on Air Canada, for trips made until April 12, 2021. Find out all the details here.
  • 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.   

Air Transat

Updated flight schedules

Change and cancellation policy

  • With Air Transat’s new ‘Book with peace of mind’ flight booking policy, all (one-time) change fees will be waived for any new flights and travel booked by February 28, 2021, if the change or flight cancellation is made up to 24 hours before departure.
  • Travellers on Air Transat can receive complimentary medical insurance on eligible round-trip flights from Canada to an international destination. Tickets must be bought by January 31, 2021. Read more about Air Transat’s travel booking policies here.
  • For more information or to cancel or change a flight, please visit Air Transat’s coronavirus travel updates page.   

Other airline updates: Sunny vacation airline Sunwing have resumed operations. Porter Airlines have pushed back its resumption of flight services to March 29, 2021 (tentative date).

Turkish Airlines

Updated flight schedules

  • Turkish Airlines is currently serving passengers to 219 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 flights, please click here.

Change and cancellation policy

  • With Turkish Airlines’ new flexible change policies, those who purchase flight tickets by March 31, 2021 (inclusive) will be offered unlimited changes to their flight until December 31, 2021, without a change fee.
  • For more information on Turkish Airlines flights and flexible travel policies, please click here.

WestJet

Updated flight schedules

  • This past July, WestJet resumed operations of many of its previously suspended flight routes and continue to operate on a reduced flight schedule for both domestic and international routes.
  • For the latest WestJet flight routes, visit their flight schedule page.

Change and cancellation policy

  • Individuals who book a flight before February 28, 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.
  • In a letter posted on WestJet’s website, the airline announced that it will be providing refunds to passengers (in lieu of a travel credit) whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic. Please note that this doesn’t include WestJet vacations. For more information, click here.
  • For more information or to make changes to a recently purchased flight, please visit WestJet’s news page.  

Have you been impacted by coronavirus flight cancellations and travel changes? 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 notice: It’s again important to note that face masks are required for all air travellers during this time. Be aware that airlines such as WestJet have also implemented a Zero Tolerance policy for refusal to wear a protective face mask will on board. Travellers might also be subject to a health check prior to boarding.

Coronavirus travel advice: FAQs

While the news is constantly evolving when it comes to COVID-19 travel advice in Canada and around the world, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions:

How can I stay safe when travelling?

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 clean your hands. Make sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, as the virus can likely enter your body 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.

I want to cancel my travel plans due to COVID-19. How do I do this, and can I get a refund?

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.

My flight has been cancelled due to coronavirus. How do I get a refund?

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.

Will my travel insurance cover coronavirus flight cancellations?

The refunds provided by your travel 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 health 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.

For more answers to commonly asked questions about coronavirus, click here. We have also responded to the top COVID related questions from our traveller community in a Q&A, so check it out!

And wherever you are in the world, you can contact the Government of Canada coronavirus information line at 1-833-784-4397.

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.