It is no surprise that travelling across the world has suffered due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and Canada is no exception. The Canadian Government has imposed a lot of restrictions on travelling inside and outside of Canada in order to control the spread of COVID-19.
Current policies on travelling to Canada: As of February 21, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST all travellers arriving in Canada are required to meet the new testing and quarantine requirements.
When entering Canada, you will be asked some questions like
• if you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing
• asked to show proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken within 72 hours of your scheduled departure time
Travellers entering Canada will have to:
• provide traveller contact information through:
o the ArriveCAN mobile app or
o the ArriveCAN website or
o a paper form
• undergo screening by a border official
• answer any relevant questions related to COVID-19 symptoms
Despite all the policies in place, the Government of Canada advises Canadians to cancel or postpone their non-essential travel including any vacation plans if any. According to the Foreign nationals, ‘Now is not the time to travel’
Travel Restrictions and exemptions
All travellers entering Canada will have to complete a mandatory quarantine or self-isolation for a period of 14 days.
Mandatory quarantine or mandatory isolation
All travellers must plan for their mandatory 14-day quarantine period, which starts on the date they arrive. Health screenings will be conducted by the Government of Canada representatives at the time of your entry to Canada and let you know if you need to quarantine or isolate depending on the result of the screening.
If you do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you must quarantine for 14 days while you are still at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.
Should you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during your 14-day quarantine period, you must begin isolating for an additional 14 days from the date of your positive test result.
If you do have COVID-19 symptoms, you must isolate for 14 days. The only people who may enter Canada if they have COVID-19 or any symptoms of COVID-19 are:
• Permanent Residents
• People with status
Exemptions to Mandatory Quarantine:
There are no exemptions from mandatory quarantine for:
• travellers entering Canada who has tested negative for COVID-19 because a negative test does not confirm that they were not exposed to the virus after the test was taken or during travel
• travellers entering Canada who has recovered from COVID-19 because there is always a potential risk of re-infection
However, you can apply for limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons, such as:
• to be present during the final moments of life for a loved one
• attending a funeral
• supporting a critically ill loved one
• providing care to someone who has a valid medical reason for needing it
This release only applies to activities directly relating to the compassionate exemption. You will be expected to stay in your place of quarantine at all other times.
It is to be noted that the exemption from the prohibition to enter Canada for compassionate reasons can apply to anyone, not just the extended family of Canadians. In this case, you will be required to present documentation from the Public Health Agency of Canada to be exempted from the prohibition to enter Canada for compassionate reasons.
Mandatory requirements in effect due to the pandemic
Earlier, travellers coming to Canada had to submit a negative COVID-19 report to board the plane and had to get tested again once they arrive in Canada. Starting February 22, 2021, all travellers entering Canada will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada but are then required to wait in a government-approved facility for the results which may take up to three days. The cost of the government-approved facility would be approximately $2000 per person.
Once you get the results, you will have to carry out the rest of the mandatory 14-day quarantine in your home. You are also supposed to take another COVID-19 test in the last few days of your quarantine.
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