COVID-19: Guidance Material for Air Operators Managing Travellers Coming to Canada from Transborder & International Airports

On this page

This guidance material is intended to provide recommendations and guidance on the operationalization of Transport Canada’s Interim Order, Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, No. 33.

This document also includes material related to key aspects of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Emergency Orders:

Important Caveat: Nothing in this guidance document supersedes any requirement or obligation outlined in Transport Canada’s Interim Order or the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Emergency Orders. It is meant to complement these legal documents and provide recommendations and guidance on how to understand and carry out the requirements.

Overview

This guidance material, dated July 5, 2021, replaces the June 23, 2021 version. This iteration reflects the following updates:

  1. Added notification requirement for air carriers (as outlined in the Interim Order) that travellers will need to provide their vaccination status electronically through ArriveCAN before or when entering Canada. Note that this update has been reflected in the Notification Section, as well as all the sample communications materials – Annex A (email to travellers), Annex B (pre-board announcement) and Annex H (in flight announcement).  
  2. Removal of the requirement for inbound temperature screening. Note that domestic temperature screening remains in place.
  3. Update to the communications pieces (Annex A, Annex B, and Annex H) indicating that while we are in Phase 1 of the easing of border restrictions, some provisions remain in place (e.g., face masks), even for fully vaccinated travellers.
  4. Further refinement to communications pieces (Annex A, Annex B, and Annex H) on fully vaccinated travellers to indicate that the provisions are now in place and not to come (since it is now after the coming into force date of July 5, 2021).  Also the language was enhanced to remind travellers to download the new version of ArriveCAN in order to upload their vaccination information as of July 5, 2021.
  5. A request for air operator assistance in identifying fully vaccinated travellers during the boarding process to facilitate the processing of fully vaccinated travellers upon arrival (See Section on Boarding Process).

Section 1 – Notification & Confirmation Process

Prior to boarding, air operators have an obligation to notify each traveller of certain measures in place for air travel due to COVID-19 (wherever it fits best into their business model). Sample communications have been prepared to assist air operators in notifying passengers of the required information in Annex A (email to send to travellers before their trip) and Annex B (pre-board announcement). These products cover off all notification requirements for air operators.

Note: In addition, while not a formal notification requirement, a sample email has also been prepared (Annex A1), which can be used to inform travellers of the new prohibition beginning April 22, 2021 at 23:30 EDT. Under this prohibition, travellers cannot submit a pre-departure test that was administered from any country listed on Schedule 1 of the Interim Order.

AIR OPERATORS must notify every traveller of the following, as indicated in the Interim Order:

  • Vaccination Status: all travellers must provide evidence of their vaccination status and related information, through ArriveCAN, before or when entering Canada, unless exempt.   Travellers who are required to provide this information, and fail to comply, may face a fine. 
  • Note: travellers are not to be denied boarding if they have not provided their vaccination status; this will be managed upon arrival in Canada.
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 testing: Prior to boarding a flight to Canada (from the last point of departure to Canada), all travellers, unless exempt (see Annex C for summary information on exemptions) are obligated to provide proof of a COVID-19 molecular test result.
  • Suitable Quarantine Plan & Government Approved Accommodation: Within 72 hours prior to arrival in Canada, all travellers, unless exempt, must use ArriveCAN to digitally submit their travel information, their 14 day travel history prior to arrival in Canada, contact information, suitable quarantine plan and to provide proof of a pre-paid booking at a government approved accommodation (hotel) for a period of three days, beginning on the day that they enter Canada (note: travellers only need to submit their hotel booking reference number in ArriveCAN). I n the case that the traveller is not required to have a pre-paid hotel booking and/or to quarantine, they are still required to digitally submit their contact information through ArriveCAN. If the traveller fails to comply with these requirements they could be subject to fines upon arrival in Canada (for example, a traveller may face a fine anywhere from $825 to $5,000 for arriving without a pre-paid hotel booking).
  • Note: Travellers who have not submitted the required information digitally through ArriveCAN prior to boarding would still be allowed to board and enter Canada, however they may face fines upon arrival in Canada.
  • For more information, please refer to Annex C (summary of exemptions); Annex E (more information on ArriveCAN) and Section 6 (Post Arrival in Canada) for more details.
  • Health Screening: Travellers may not be permitted to board if:
    • they are exhibiting: (1) a fever and cough; or (2) a fever and difficulty breathing; unless they have a medical certificate indicating these symptoms are not related to COVID-19;
    • they have, or have any reason to suspect they have, COVID-19; or
    • they have not been permitted to board an aircraft in the previous 14 days for medical reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Note: Travellers must be notified that if they knowingly provide any false or misleading information about their health, they may be subject to a monetary penalty of up to $5,000.
  • Face Mask: Travellers must be in possession of a face mask (see Annex F for more information related to face masks) prior to boarding and must wear the face mask throughout their entire travel journey, unless they have a medical certificate certifying they are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons (see Conditions Preventing the Wearing of Face Masks or Face Coverings for an example certificate). Travellers must also comply with any instructions given by a gate agent or a crew member with respect to wearing a face mask.
  • Federal/Provincial/Territorial Measures: Travellers may be subject to provincial, territorial or federal government measures upon arrival at their destination in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Annex G provides a summary of the provincial/territorial restrictions).

TRAVELLERS must confirm the following to the air operator as indicated in the Interim Order:

  • In a single confirmation, travellers must confirm that they: (1) do not have or suspect they have COVID-19; and (2) they have not been denied boarding by an air operator in the previous 14 days due to a medical reason related to COVID-19.
  • Note: a competent adult may answer these questions on behalf of a minor or another adult who may require assistance (in a situation where it is required).
  • They are in possession of a face mask that meets the requirements outlined by the Public Health Agency of Canada (see Annex F) or have a medical certificate certifying they are unable to wear a face mask due to medical reasons (see Conditions Preventing the Wearing of Face Masks or Face Coverings for an example certificate).
  • They understand that they may be subject to provincial, territorial or federal government measures upon arrival at their destination in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Note: the onus is on the traveller to ensure they are admissible to enter Canada. They must have all the proper documentation and approvals associated. The Travel Wizard is a tool that can be used to assist travellers in determining if they can enter Canada, given the requirements and exemptions. As always, the final determination is made by government officials at the port of entry, based on the documentation and information presented at that time.

Section 2 - Pre-board Process

  • Check-in Process: Recommended Operational Approach for Assessing COVID-19 Test Results:
    The following process is recommended for travellers that are travelling directly without a connecting flight, when checking baggage. In order to ensure the smoothest travel journey for travellers and as little operational disruption as possible for air operators, it is strongly recommended that upon arrival at the airport, travellers present themselves to the check-in counter to provide their COVID-19 molecular test result. The agent at check-in can verify the result against the required criteria and then either: 1) allow the traveller to continue on their journey; or 2) stop them before they continue onwards and check their bags. This will avoid having to reconcile baggage should a traveller check their bag and then get denied boarding at the gate.
  • Pre-board Announcement: Deliver the pre-board announcement (Annex B).

Section 3 - Boarding Process

The following identifies the requirements of air operators in the boarding process as it relates to the COVID-19 measures outlined in the Interim Order. Please note there is no requirement for air carriers to assess proof of vaccination for any traveller; this will be assessed upon entry into Canada. There is absolutely no denial of boarding for travellers who have not provided their vaccination status.

Important Change: As of July 5, 2021, as indicated in Interim Order No. 33, there is no longer a requirement for inbound temperature screening, as such, this requirement has been removed from this section (and throughout the guidance document).

Note: As of June 22, 2021 there was an amendment to Schedule 1 of the Interim Order which removed Pakistan from the list. This means that pre-departure tests from Pakistan are now accepted. India remains on the list at present, and as such, pre-departure tests from India are not to be accepted.

  • Verification of COVID-19 molecular test result: Air operators must verify the molecular test result documentation for the following, unless the traveller is exempt (please refer to section 1.2(2) of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) Emergency Order for a list of persons that are excepted from the pre-departure testing requirement):
    • Name of the traveller matches the traveller’s identification
    • The test result was not administered from a country listed on Schedule 1 of the Interim Order. This includes both positive and negative test results (any test result administered from a country listed on Schedule 1 of the Interim Order is not accepted). It should be noted that the exemptions under the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) order continue to apply (e.g., if a traveller arrives with a test result from a country that is listed on Schedule 1 of the Interim Order but is in fact exempt from providing a pre-departure test result they may still be boarded).
    • The test result is either negative or positive:
      • If the test result is negative, it must be dated within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure time to Canada (the 72 hours should be assessed from the scheduled departure time from last point of departure coming directly to Canada – see Annex D for information on the 72 hour testing window);
      • If the test result is positive, it must be dated at least 14 days before but not more than 90 days prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure time to Canada (e.g., the traveller would be eligible to travel on day 15 after their test was administered, since 14 days have passed). This accounts for those that had contracted COVID-19, have recovered, but may still be testing positive due to lingering amounts of the virus in their system.
  • Note: “not detected” is accepted as equivalent to negative; however, if the test result indicates “inconclusive”, this is not acceptable; the traveller is be to denied boarding.

Air operators do not need to assess the test for any other elements at this time (e.g., whether or not the test results come from an accredited laboratory or clinic). As long as the test appears legitimate, and meets the elements noted above it should be accepted.

Reporting requirements: Air operators are asked to make best efforts to assess that the test results are authentic, following the typical operating procedures that have been developed across the international aviation industry in recent months. If the air operator suspects that a traveller is providing false or misleading information with respect to their COVID-19 molecular test, they must report the traveller’s name and flight information to the Minister of Transport, as soon as feasible (generally expected within 24-28 hours after the incident or sooner). This can be done by contacting the Transport Canada Situation Centre and reporting as many details as possible, such as the:

  • date and flight number;
  • traveller’s name and contact information, including the person’s date of birth, home address, telephone number and email address;
  • circumstances related to this situation (e.g., what made the air operator suspicious that the information was not accurate, any names of witnesses, etc.).

It should be noted that it is the travellers responsibility to be informed on requirements and to have proof of their COVID-19 molecular test result, either printed or in electronic form, and to ensure it is from an accredited laboratory. The language of the test is not specified, however if it is not in English or French, travellers may face processing delays once they arrive in Canada. Travellers can refer to the following link for more information: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/flying-canada-checklist/covid-19-testing-travellers-coming-into-canada#getting-tested.

Information on Inadmissible Travellers: It is recognized that in some cases when travellers are deemed inadmissible upon arrival, and are not permitted entry into the country of their destination, it can be virtually impossible to obtain a COVID-19 molecular test, and as such, would leave the traveller stranded. As per the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) air operators are permitted to board a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person or, a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act who resides in Canada even if they do not have a COVID-19 molecular test result, if they were denied entry to a foreign country or territory and must subsequently board an aircraft destined to Canada.

For more information on Pre-Departure Testing, including further guidance on the 72 hour testing window, residual positives, and other relevant information, please refer to Annex D. Additionally, please refer to Annex J for a template letter that air crew can present when boarding and aircraft which indicates that they are exempt from pre-departure testing, arrival testing, and quarantine.

  • Observe whether travellers boarding the flight exhibit COVID-19 symptoms and deny boarding to those who exhibit a fever and a cough or a fever and difficulty breathing, unless they have a medical certificate (see Conditions Causing Elevated Body Temperatures for an example certificate).
  • Face Mask Verification: verify that every traveller boarding the flight is wearing a face mask, unless exempt (refer to Annex F for more details, including some exceptions).
  • Verification of information for Fully Vaccinated Travellers: the Government of Canada is seeking cooperation from all air carriers in order to ensure that fully vaccinated travellers are well-prepared and can fully benefit from the new measures in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations). Well-prepared travellers will enable a smoother flow upon arrival in Canada and into the CBSA Primary Inspection Area. Air operators are asked to remind all travellers to download the most recent version of ArriveCAN (as of July 5, 2021) so that they can upload their vaccination information prior to boarding, and provide fully vaccinated travellers with a visual signal (i.e. a coloured sticker or card, as specified by the receiving Canadian airport). Air carriers will be able to see which travellers are fully vaccinated by checking the status on the traveller’s ArriveCAN receipt (mobile or printed version).  Please see Annex K for an example of what the ArriveCAN receipt. More details on fully vaccinated travellers and arrival processes are provided in Section 6.

Note on Prohibition of Entry outlined in Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Emergency Orders

Under PHAC’s Emergency Orders (Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States) or Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)), air operators are not required to ask travellers for their specific reason for travel in order to assess their eligibility to enter – this will be done by Canada Border Services Agency upon arrival. It is up to the passenger to ensure they are eligible to enter Canada as per the COVID-19 measures in place at the federal, provincial and territorial level and to ensure they have all the proper approvals and documentation in hand, as it relates to any provisions in the Emergency Orders noted above. In some cases, travellers may present documentation to the air operator when boarding in which case, the air operator can let the traveller know that their eligibility will be officially assessed when they arrive in Canada.

Note on eligibility to enter Canada and fully vaccinated travellers: It is important to note that at this time there are no changes to the eligibility to enter Canada, even for fully vaccinated travellers. The only change is that as of July 5, 2021, travellers that are eligible to enter Canada may benefit from being fully vaccinated as they may profit from reduced travel requirements post arrival. If and when prohibition of entry requirements do change, this will be signaled in the PHAC Orders in Council (Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)) and Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States).

In situations not specifically related to the COVID-19 measures, air operators should continue to follow the normal process for assessing travellers (under the Immigration Refugee Protection Act).

Section 4 – Denial of Boarding

The air operator is to deny boarding in any of the following cases as it relates to the provisions outlined in the Interim Order:

  • 1. Pre-departure COVID-19 test: the traveller will be refused boarding if they fail to meet any of the following:
    • name of traveller does not match the traveller’s identification
    • the test result was administered in a country that is listed in Schedule 1 of the Interim Order (note that Schedule 1 of the Interim Order was amended on June 22, 2021). Please note that the exemptions under the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) order still apply, which includes those exempt from providing a pre-departure test.
    • test result is negative but was not conducted within the valid testing window (within 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure time to Canada);
    • test result is positive but was not conducted within the valid testing window (at least 14 days but not more than 90 days from the scheduled departure time to Canada) As an example, the traveller would be denied boarding if they had a positive test administered less than 15 days (which is 14 days or less) or more than 90 days from their scheduled departure to Canada;
    • test result is inconclusive;
    • test result is not for a molecular test; or
    • traveller refuses to provide proof of a test.
  • Note: travellers are NOT to be denied boarding if they do not have a hotel booking for a government approved accommodation or if they have not submitted their contact and quarantine information, their proof of vaccination, or any other pieces of information through the ArriveCAN app. This will be handled by government officials upon arrival.
  • 2. Health Check: traveller will be denied boarding if they refuse to answers questions related to the health check or do not pass the health check, including the temperature verification.
  • 3. Face Mask: traveller will be denied boarding if they do not have a face mask in their possession or refuse to wear their face mask when instructed to do so by a crew member or gate agent (see Annex F for details related to wearing a face mask, including exceptions)

If a denial of boarding situation occurs, the AIR OPERATOR should follow these steps:

  • Provide explanation for future travel – Air operators must explain to air travellers who are denied boarding, based on the health check, observation of symptoms or elevated temperature, that they will need to wait a full 14 days before they are able to fly (e.g., they would be eligible to fly on day 15) or that they will need to provide a medical certificate indicating the symptoms that they are exhibiting are not related to COVID-19.
  • Advise air travellers to follow local health authorities related to COVID-19 – travellers who have been denied boarding, due to COVID-19 symptoms, should follow the guidance/direction from their provincial/territorial health authorities.
  • Inform air travellers that, the Government of Canada provides consular service to Canadians abroad (refer to: About Consular Services). Canadian government offices abroad do not provide medical attention (including administering COVID-19 molecular testing) or cover medical expenses for Canadian citizens abroad, but can provide direction to resources.
  • Encourage Canadians travelling abroad to register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad if they have not done so already. This service enables Canadians to receive important safety updates from the Government of Canada.

Section 5 – In Flight & De-planing

The following is to be conducted as appropriate and in accordance with the Interim Order:

  • Face Masks: ensure crew and travellers are wearing their face mask; even if fully vaccinated. Some exceptions do apply and may include but are not limited to: when on the flight deck, when safety is in question, due to operational requirements, or for brief periods when eating, drinking or taking oral medications (see Annex F for more information).

    If, during a flight, a traveller refuses to comply with an instruction given by a crew member with respect to wearing a face mask, the AIR OPERATOR must inform the Minister, as soon as feasible (generally expected within 24-28 hours after the incident or sooner) as well as keep a record of the following information for a period of 12 months (see Annex I for information on retention periods):

    • the date and flight number;
    • the traveller’s name and contact information, including the person’s date of birth, home address, telephone number and email address;
    • the traveller’s seat number on the flight; and
    • the circumstances related to the refusal to comply.

    Note: These records must be made available to the Minister of Transport upon request, not just immediately following the incident. Air operators are not expected to update their systems if the information that is provided does not match; however, every effort to ensure all relevant information is relayed to Transport Canada in a timely manner is appreciated. Ensuring this information related to the incident is as complete and accurate as possible will be essential in facilitating Transport Canada’s ability to conduct a suitable investigation. Having the support and assistance of air operators in the process will be key to ensuring that there is sufficient evidence to take enforcement action, if required.

  • Deliver the in-flight announcement prior to landing in Canada and de-planning (see Annex H).

Section 6 – Post-Arrival in Canada: Arrival Testing, Stay in the Government Approved Accommodation & Treatment of Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Role of the Air Operator (related to post-arrival)

As identified in the Transport Canada Interim Order, air operators are required to notify travellers that before boarding their flight, they must submit their information by electronic means (ArriveCAN) to the Minister of Health. This information includes their contact information, proof of a pre-paid accommodation that enables the person to remain in quarantine at a government approved accommodation for a period of three days while waiting for their test results (where applicable, for example as of July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers that meet the definition noted below will not require a hotel reservation), vaccination status and a suitable quarantine plan (fully vaccinated travellers still need to provide a quarantine plan, in the event they do need to quarantine for any reason), unless otherwise exempt. If exempt, travellers are still required to digitally submit their contact information. This notification requirement is the only official requirement of the air operator as it pertains to the information required to be submitted in ArriveCAN. However, air carriers’ cooperation is requested to help the Government of Canada determine if travellers have been vaccinated.

Air carriers are not to deny boarding to any traveler who does not have a pre-paid hotel booking, proof of vaccination, or any other information required in ArriveCAN. Travellers who fail to submit any required information may face fines ranging from $825 to $5,000 once in Canada. In addition, Transport Canada recommends that air carriers also notify travellers that they will also be required to undergo a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival, unless otherwise exempted.

Please refer to Annex A which includes a sample email that air operators can send their passengers to inform them of the enhanced travel measures (including the new easing of post arrival restrictions as of July 5, 2021 for fully vaccinated travellers that are eligible to enter Canada), Annex B which is a sample of a pre-boarding announcement that includes messaging on the enhanced measures including arrival testing and the treatment post arrival for fully vaccinated travellers, and Annex H which is a sample of an in-flight announcement to re-emphasize the new measures (including those for fully vaccinated travellers).

Please refer to Annex C for summary information related to exemptions to these measures.

Transiting Travellers

Transiting travellers are exempt from arrival testing, as long as they remain in the sterile area of the airport and do not cross into Canada. In the case where a traveller unexpectedly has to enter Canada due to unforeseen delays or cancellations of their connecting flight, they may be exempt from arrival testing and the requirement to quarantine at a government approved hotel; however, they may be required stay at a near-by hotel and quarantine until their next flight. In these cases, they will be referred to Public Health Officials for further direction.

Residual Positives

Those who present a positive COVID-19 molecular test result that is within the testing window for a residual positive (e.g. at least 14 days old – which means eligible as of day 15 – but not more than 90 days) are exempt from the arrival testing and the need to stay in a government approved accommodation for a period of three days. Upon arrival in Canada, they will be referred to a Public Health Officer for further direction. It should be noted these travellers are not exempt from the mandatory 14 day quarantine requirement upon arrival in Canada; once assessed at the airport by government officials, they are to proceed directly to their suitable place of quarantine after leaving the airport. As such, these passengers are still required to submit their information and suitable quarantine plan via ArriveCan before arriving in Canada.

Unaccompanied minors

Unaccompanied minors that are travelling to Canada are still subject to pre-departure testing (as long as they are 5 years of age and over), as well as the mandatory 14 day quarantine requirements. They will not be subject to on-arrival testing, but will be subject to an alternative testing protocol; more details will be provided by public health officials upon arrival. Unaccompanied minors are also exempt from the requirement to stay in a government approved accommodation; they will continue to their final place of quarantine directly from the airport after being processed by Public Health Officials.

Note: the processing of unaccompanied minors upon arrival as it relates to COVID-19 public health measures is overseen/enforced by the Public Health Agency of Canada (for more information please visit: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/flying-canada-checklist/covid-19-testing-travellers-coming-into-canada.

Information on Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Role of the Air Operator

As outlined in Interim Order No. 33, air operators must notify all travellers before boarding an aircraft that they must provide evidence of their vaccination status and related information, through ArriveCAN, before or when entering Canada, unless exempt. Travellers who are required to provide this information, and fail to comply, may face a fine.

Additionally, the Government of Canada is seeking cooperation from the air carriers in order to ensure that fully vaccinated travellers are well-prepared and can fully benefit from the new measures in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations). Well-prepared travellers will enable a smoother flow upon arrival in Canada and into the CBSA Primary Inspection Area.

Prior to boarding, air operators are asked to remind all travellers to download the most recent version of ArriveCAN (as of July 5, 2021) so that they can upload their vaccination information prior to boarding. All fully vaccinated travellers should be provided with a visual signal (i.e. a coloured sticker or card, as specified by the receiving Canadian airport). Air operators will be able to see which travellers are fully vaccinated by checking the status on the traveller’s ArriveCAN receipt (mobile or printed version).  Air operators will be able identify those that are vaccinated if there is an “i” or “v” next to the traveller’s name in the ArriveCAN receipt. An “i” on the receipt signals that the traveller has been vaccinated and that there are no issues with the upload the information, while a “v” notes that the traveller has been vaccinated but there are upload issues. Please see Annex K for an example of the ArriveCAN receipt.

Impact on crew

As with all essential workers, crew are already exempt from the need to stay at the government approved accommodation and from quarantine, therefore being fully vaccinated does not have an impact on the process for crew.

Definition of fully vaccinated

To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine, or combination of vaccines, accepted by the Government of Canada, at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). The list of accepted vaccines may expand in the future as evidence becomes available. Vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada do not have to have be administered in Canada to be accepted. Travellers must provide proof of vaccination. Only documents in English or French (or a certified translation) will be accepted.

Note: more information about accepted vaccinations is available here: COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada - Travel restrictions in Canada – Travel.gc.ca.

Advantages for fully vaccinated travellers

Beginning July 6, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine for 14 days or take a COVID-19 test on day-8 following their arrival. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel.

In addition to being fully vaccinated, in order for travellers to be exempted from quarantine and the three-night hotel stay, travellers must meet all of the following conditions:

  • Be asymptomatic;
  • Enter all information, including proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN; (must be done using the version of ArriveCAN available as of July 5, 2021);
  • Have a quarantine plan;
  • Show evidence of a COVID-19 molecular test indicating that they received either a negative result for a test that was performed no more than 72 hours before the flight’s initial scheduled departure time, or a positive result for the test that was performed on a specimen collected at least 14 days and no more than 90 days before the flight’s initial scheduled departure time;
  • Be considered a fully vaccinated traveller and meet all relevant criteria and requirements; and
  • Comply with any other applicable requirements imposed under the relevant Quarantine Act Emergency Orders

It must be noted that based on a traveller’s exposure history, quarantine plan, and symptomatic status, they may still be required to go to a designated quarantine facility.

Provinces and territories may have their own provincial border measures as well as public health guidelines within their jurisdictions; it is important that travellers check for the most up to date information for requirements for travel into Canada but also requirements imposed by their intended province or territory of destination.

Fully vaccinated adults travelling with children who are not vaccinated

Children under 18, as well as dependent adults with unique physical or mental health support needs, are already exempt from the requirement to stay in a government-authorized hotel if they are not accompanied by an adult.

Since fully vaccinated individuals are not subject to the requirement to stay at a government-authorized hotel, unvaccinated children under 18 or dependent adults travelling with them will also be exempt from the hotel stay.

Individuals who are unable to receive the vaccine, due to eligibility or other medical reasons, can still be infected by COVID-19 and, therefore, still pose a risk of transmitting the virus and its variants to others. As a result, those who are currently not fully vaccinated will be required to complete the day-8 test (if they are over 5 years of age) and full 14-day quarantine. The issue of whether vaccinated parents will be required to quarantine with their unvaccinated children will be resolved upon arrival based on the review of the quarantine plan by Public Health Officials to determine whether it is suitable. This means that there may be scenarios where vaccinated parents will be required to quarantine with their unvaccinated children based on the quarantine plan submitted.

Onward Travel

Fully vaccinated travellers who meet all of the criteria outlined above for the exemption are able to travel onwards to their final destination. They can take domestic flights or use other means of public transportation but they must follow all public health measures through onward travel, such as wearing a mask. Once travellers have cleared CBSA processing, they will be asked to take their day 1 test on site at the airport, once testing is complete, they will be able to go and catch their onward domestic flight. Travellers who are coming from countries approved for International to Domestic connection may be given a “take-away” kit, instead of having the test administered at the airport.

Annex A - Sample Email to Send to Travellers

Subject: Travel Measures by the Government of Canada related to COVID-19

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada has put in place several measures for air travel. As a traveller, you should take note and be prepared for all of the requirements that are in place before travelling. The different measures are outlined below in order to travel to Canada by air. Please note there is also information for the process for fully vaccinated travellers (below), which comes into effect July 5, 2021 and that many restrictions are still in place, even for fully vaccinated travellers.

Health Check

You will not be permitted to board an aircraft under any circumstances if you have a fever and a cough; a fever and difficulty breathing; if you have or suspect you have COVID-19; or if you have not been permitted to board an aircraft within the previous 14 days for a reason related to COVID-19. If you knowingly provide any false or misleading information about your health you may be subject to a monetary penalty, up to $5,000.

Face mask

All travellers 6 years and over must have a face mask in their possession in order to board the flight and expect to wear the face mask, in general, throughout their travel journey, complying with all instructions given by gate agents or crew members, even if fully vaccinated. In the cases of children aged 2 to 5, the adult responsible for the child must still ensure that a face mask is made readily available for the child prior to boarding the flight and should encourage the child to wear the face mask should they be able to tolerate it.

ArriveCAN

Within 72 hours prior to arriving in Canada, all travellers must use ArriveCAN to digitally submit their travel information, contact information, 14 day travel history prior to arrival in Canada, proof of their pre-paid reservation at a government approved accommodation if applicable, (for example this hotel accommodation is not required for fully vaccinated travellers as of July 5, 2021), and their suitable quarantine plan information prior to boarding their flight to Canada.

Updated version of ArriveCAN for vaccination information: Please note that vaccination information must be submitted in ArriveCAN before or when entering Canada.  Travellers must downloaded the most recent version of ArriveCAN (available as of July 5) in order to have the option to input their vaccination status.  This means if they have inputted other required information (such as travel history, quarantine plan etc.) in ArriveCAN before July 5th, in anticipation of their arrival in Canada after that date, they will need to go into ArriveCAN once again on July 5, 2021 to input their vaccination information.

Failure to submit this information in ArriveCAN could result in a fine under the Quarantine Act. For more information on fines available please consult: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/isolation). Download the ArriveCAN app for free on Google Play and Apple App store or provide your information by signing in online.

Pre-Departure Testing

All travellers 5 years of age and older flying to Canada from another country, unless exempt, will require a valid COVID-19 molecular test result to enter Canada, even if fully vaccinated. This includes fully vaccinated travellers.

In order to board an aircraft, travellers must provide printed or electronic documentation (prior to departure) showing they are in possession of:

  • A negative COVID-19 molecular test administered within 72 hours of their scheduled departure time of their flight to Canada; or
  • A positive COVID-19 molecular test administered at least 14 days prior but not more than 90 days prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure time to Canada (e.g., the traveller would be eligible to travel on day 15 after their test was administered, since 14 days have passed). This accounts for those that had contracted COVID-19, have since recovered, but may still be testing positive due to lingering amounts of the virus in their system.

Arrival Testing

In addition to the pre-departure COVID-19 molecular testing requirement, all travellers, unless exempt, are required to undergo a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival in Canada; this includes fully vaccinated travellers. Travellers are encouraged to pre-register for arrival testing where possible using the following links based on their arrival location in Canada:

Vancouver (YVR): https://checkout.lifelabs.com/arrival-registration
Calgary (YYC): https://numihealth.com/covid-19-testing/
Toronto-Pearson (YYZ): https://www.switchhealth.ca/en/travel/pearson/
Montreal-Trudeau (YUL): https://info.biron.ca/inscription-yul

Government Approved Accommodation (Hotel) & Quarantine

All travellers, unless exempt, must also stay in a government approved accommodation (GAA), at the travellers own cost, for a period of three days from the day they enter Canada while awaiting their test results. As of July 5, 2021, travellers who have been deemed to be fully vaccinated are exempt from the government approved accommodation, (more information below), the obligation to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada, and the day-8 arrival test.

For those that are not exempt, a pre-paid reservation needs to be made prior to coming to Canada for the cost of the 3-day stay (refer to this link for hotel booking information).  Travellers must have proof of a pre-paid hotel booking at a government approved accommodation upon arrival in Canada. Travellers will also be asked to submit their booking reference number in ArriveCAN when they submit their contact information and suitable quarantine plan to the Minister of Health. Failure to show proof of this booking on arrival could result in fines up to $5,000.

Once a traveller receives their arrival test results, should the test result be negative, they will be able to leave the hotel to carry out the remainder of their 14 day quarantine at their final place of quarantine (or a federal designated quarantine facility if you do not have a suitable plan). If the test result is positive, the traveller will be required to immediately isolate for 14 days in a designated government quarantine facility.

Provincial/Territorial Measures

Upon arrival in Canada, travellers may be subject to additional measures identified by the provincial, territorial or local health authorities. It is up to the traveller, to be aware of any additional measures at their destination and be ready to comply as required.

Information on Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Beginning July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day-8. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel.

To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Travellers can receive their vaccine in any country, and must provide documentation supporting their vaccination in English, French or with a certified translation.  More information will be available in the coming weeks on travel.gc.ca.

Fully vaccinated travellers must also be asymptomatic, have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation, and provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN prior to arrival in or when entering in Canada. They must still present a suitable quarantine plan, and be prepared to quarantine, in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet all of the conditions required to be exempt from quarantine and other post-arrival requirements. As with all other exempt travellers, they will be required to follow public health measures in place, such as wearing a mask when in public, keep a copy of their vaccine and test results, as well as a list of close contacts for 14 days after entry to Canada.

For travellers who are not fully vaccinated, there are no changes to Canada’s current border measures. They must continue to adhere to the current testing and federal quarantine requirements, which have been effective in reducing importation and transmission of COVID-19 and variants in Canada, and provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN before arriving in Canada. Unvaccinated air travellers must also book a three-night stay at a government-authorized hotel before their departure to Canada.

Please note the onus is on the traveller to be aware of all requirements to travel to Canada.

For more information, please visit https://travel.gc.ca/.

Annex A1 – Sample Email to Send to Travellers regarding Schedule 1 of the Interim Order

[Note to air carriers: As of June 22, 2021, Schedule 1 of the Interim Order has changed. Should you wish to flag the specific countries to your travellers (i.e., fill in the template below where it indicates to [insert the name of the country]), ensure you are consulting the most up to date version of Schedule 1 of the Interim Order].

Subject: New Government of Canada Travel Measures Related to COVID-19

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada has put in place several measures for air travel. One measure that was put in place as of January 2021 is the requirement for all travellers 5 years and older, unless exempt, to present a COVID-19 molecular test result prior to boarding a flight to Canada.

Recently, data has shown that, in a number of cases, travellers who had received a negative COVID-19 test result for a test administered in certain countries, have been testing positive for COVID-19 during their arrival test upon entry to Canada. In order to continue to limit the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada, travellers with a COVID-19 molecular test result conducted in any country identified in schedule 1 of the Interim Order [insert name(s) of countries here], will not be allowed to board a flight to Canada effective April 22, 2021 at 23:30 EDT.

About the test result:

All COVID-19 molecular test results must be printed or be presented electronically to the air carrier prior to boarding the flight to Canada. The test result itself must have been administered within the following testing windows:

  • A negative COVID-19 molecular test administered within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of the flight to Canada; or

  • A positive COVID-19 molecular test administered at least 14 days prior but not more than 90 days prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure time to Canada (e.g., the traveller would be eligible to travel on day 15 after their test was administered, since 14 days have passed). This accounts for those that had contracted COVID-19, have since recovered, but may still be testing positive due to lingering amounts of the virus in their system.

As indicated above, tests that were administered in any country identified in Schedule 1 of the Interim Order, will not be accepted. Therefore all travellers would be denied boarding in these cases, unless they are exempt under the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations) Emergency Order.

Travellers departing from a country listed on Schedule 1 of the Interim Order will be required to obtain a pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test from a different country in order to be admissible into Canada, within the defined testing windows noted above. This may mean adjusting travel plans in order to visit another country prior to coming to Canada, in order to obtain a test result.

Travellers should take note and be prepared for all of the requirements that are in place before travelling to Canada. For more information on travel requirements please visit https://travel.gc.ca/.

Annex B – Pre-board Notification to Travellers

Note: The pre-board notification can be done online, at automated check-in kiosks by agents at the check-in counter (e.g., pre-board announcement), or by any other means (at the discretion of the air operator).

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada has put in place several measures for air travel. It should be noted that, at this time, discretionary travel to Canada for optional reasons, including for tourism or recreational purposes, is not permitted, even if the traveller is fully vaccinated. It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that they are eligible to enter Canada. More information about eligibility criteria, as well as information about fully vaccinated travellers, can be found on the Government of Canada website, travel.gc.ca.

If you are travelling to Canada for a permissible reason, please be advised that, with a few exceptions:

  • Anyone aged 5 and over travelling to Canada will be required to present a COVID-19 molecular test result in order to board their flight for Canada. If the test result is negative, it must have been conducted within 72 hours of a traveller’s scheduled flight to Canada in order for the traveller to be allowed to board. If the passenger has had COVID-19, has since recovered, but is still testing positive, they will be permitted to board with a positive test result providing it was administered at least 14 days but not more than 90 days from a traveller’s scheduled flight to Canada as long as they are symptom free. Failure to provide a test result, within either of the accepted testing windows, unless the traveller meets one of the few exceptions, will result in denial of boarding.
  • In addition to the pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test, travellers coming to Canada will also be required to undergo a COVID-19 molecular test upon arrival. While travellers are awaiting their arrival test results, they will be required to begin their quarantine at a government approved accommodation, for a period of three days, at their own expense, unless exempt. Traveller’s must pre-book and pre-pay for their accommodations prior to their arrival in Canada and the booking reference number needs to be submitted via ArriveCan when the passenger digitally submits their contact information and suitable quarantine plan. Evidence of this pre-paid booking will be required upon arrival in Canada. It should be noted that travellers could face fines up to $3,000 for arriving in Canada without a pre-paid booking.
  • Please note that as of July 5, 2021, travellers that meet the definition of being fully vaccinated are exempt from staying at a government approved accommodation as well as the obligation to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada, and re-test on day-8. These travellers must submit their vaccination status in ArriveCAN in order to take advantage of modified requirements upon arrival. It is important to note that fully vaccinated travellers remain obligated to have a pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test, be symptom-free, and wear a facemask throughout their travel journey (including in-flight).
  • All unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers are subject to the 14 day mandatory quarantine period starting the day they enter Canada, and must be able to demonstrate how they plan to fulfill this requirement while in Canada. Failure to comply with the mandatory quarantine could result in imprisonment and/or fines.

Prior to boarding the flight to Canada, please be advised that, with few exceptions:

  • Within 72 hours prior to arrival in Canada, all travellers must provide the following information in ArriveCAN:
    • their travel and contact information;
    • 14 day travel history prior to arrival in Canada;
    • booking reference number for their pre-paid accommodation, if applicable;
    • suitable quarantine plan; and
    • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.
  • In order for travellers to take advantage of any of the benefits upon arrival in Canada for being fully vaccinated, they must download the most recent version of ArriveCAN as of July 5, 2201 and digitally submit the required information, even if they have already inputted other required information before. ArriveCAN is available as a mobile app that is available for download through Google Play or the Apple App store or by signing in online.
  • Travellers must be ready to show that they have submitted their information digitally by showing their ArriveCAN receipt to a border services officer when seeking entry into Canada. Travellers who do not submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can include fines. For more information, or if you require assistance, visit Canada.ca/ArriveCAN.
  • Travellers will be required to answer a few simple questions related to their health, to which they must be answered truthfully. Providing a false or misleading answer could result in a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • Travellers 6 years of age and older must have a face mask that covers their mouth, nose and chin. The face mask must be used throughout their entire travel journey in order to prevent the inadvertent spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets; this includes fully vaccinated travellers.
  • Please note that in the case of children aged 2 to 5, the adult responsible for the child must still ensure that a face mask is made readily available to the child prior to boarding the flight and should, as much as is tolerated, encourage the child to wear the face mask. If a traveller fails to comply with the face mask requirement, they may face a fine of up to $5,000.

Travellers should also be advised that they may be subject to provincial or territorial measures at their destination. Please ensure you are well informed on any local public health requirements.

As a reminder, no person should board a flight when they are feeling ill as this could potentially put others at risk. Should symptoms such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing develop while in flight, please notify the flight crew immediately.

Stay safe, and thank you for your cooperation.

Annex C – Exemptions: Summary Information

The following table depicts some of the key public health requirement exemptions included in the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Order in Council (OIC) entitled Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations (CPHO)). The table was developed to help find where the various exemptions can be found within the OIC. It also helps better understand how some cohorts are specifically exempted in some cases and where the CPHO exemption for essential workers applies in other cases. Note that the OIC includes many other requirements and as such should be read in its entirety in order to understand the full set of restrictions, obligations and exemptions currently in place.

Cohort Exempt from Pre-Arrival Testing Requirement

 

Exempt from Tests in Canada

 

Exempt from staying in the Government Approved Accommodation (GAA)

 

Exempt from Quarantine

 

Crew Members

  • (a) a crew member as defined in subsection 101.01(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations or a person who enters Canada only to become such a crew member;
  • (b) a member of a crew as defined in subsection 3(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations or a person who enters Canada only to become such a member of a crew;
  • (c) a person who is re-entering Canada after having left to participate in mandatory training in relation to the operation of a conveyance and who is required by their employer to return to work as a crew member on a conveyance within the 14-day period that begins on the day on which they return to Canada.

Yes

s. 2.1(2)

(Schedule 1 – Table 1 - Item 2)

Yes

s. 2.3(4)

(Schedule 2 – Table 2 - Item 1)

Yes

s. 4.1(5)(a)

(Schedule 2 – Table 3 - Item 1)

Yes

s. 4.5

(Schedule 2 – Table 1 - Item 1)

must, under section 3.5(2)(a) & 3.5(2)(b), wear a mask, provide contact information, and

maintain list of contacts and locations visited

A person in the trade or transportation sector who is important for the movement of goods or people, including a truck driver or crew member on any aircraft, shipping vessel or train, who enters Canada for the purpose of performing their duties as a member of that sector.

No

Yes

s. 2.3(4)

(Schedule 2 – Table 2 - Item 4)

CPHO exemption

Yes

s. 4.1(5)(a)

(Schedule 2 – Table 3 - Item 6)

CPHO exemption

Yes

s. 4.5

(Schedule 2 – Table 1 - Item 4)

CPHO exemption

must, under section 3.5(2)(a) & 3.5(2)(b), wear a mask, provide contact information, and

maintain list of contacts and locations visited

A person who, as determined by the Minister of Transport, will respond to, investigate, or prevent significant disruptions to the effective continued operation of the national transportation system, transportation undertakings or transportation infrastructure, if the person complies with all conditions imposed on them by the Minister of Transport and developed in consultation with the

Minister of Health to minimize the risk of introduction or spread of COVID-19.

Yes

s. 2.1(2)

(Schedule 1 – Table 1 - Item 13)

Yes

s. 2.3(4)

(Schedule 2 – Table 2 - Item 34)

Yes

s. 4.1(5)(a)

(Schedule 2 – Table 3 - Item 21)

No

Persons in Transit

A person who plans to arrive at a Canadian airport aboard an aircraft in order to transit to a country other than Canada and to remain in a sterile transit area, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, until they leave Canada.

Yes

s. 2.1(2)

(Schedule 1 – Table 1 - Item 19)

n/a

n/a

n/a

MEDEVAC

Any person who boarded a medical evacuation flight for medical purposes, if the urgency of the medical situation does not permit a COVID-19 molecular test to be administered to the person before boarding the aircraft for the flight to Canada. (patient only)

Yes

s. 2.1(2)

(Schedule 1 – Table 1 - Item 16)

Yes

s. 2.3(4)

(Schedule 2 – Table 2 - Item 30)

Yes

s. 4.1(5)(a)

(Schedule 2 – Table 3 - Item 18)

No

A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person or person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act who resides in Canada, who has been denied entry in a foreign country and who must board a flight destined to Canada.

Yes

s. 2.1(2)

(Schedule 1 – Table 1 - Item 17)

No

No

No

Annex D – Additional Information on Pre-Departure Testing

The 72 hour testing window for pre-departure testing

In the case where the traveller presents a negative COVID-19 molecular test result, the test must have been administered no more than 72 hours from the time of the scheduled direct flight to Canada. This means that if a traveller has a connecting flight, the 72 hour window applies to the final leg of their flight that brings them directly to Canada (i.e. the last point of departure). This is due to the fact that Transport Canada can only regulate flights flying directly into Canada. If, for example, a traveller was flying from Paris, France through Frankfurt, Germany with a final destination of Montreal, Canada, the traveller would need to have a pre-departure test that was administered within 72 hours of their scheduled departure time from Frankfurt to Montreal (and not from their scheduled departure time from the origin city, Paris). If for any reason the traveller’s flight gets delayed for issues beyond their control (e.g., bad weather, mechanical issues etc.), the air operators are allowed to use the originally scheduled departure time as the basis for the 72 hour window as it relates to pre-departure testing. This means in the example noted above, if the traveller had a test result that was administered 70 hours before their original scheduled flight from Frankfurt to Montreal, but then their flight was delayed 5 hours due to a winter storm (i.e. a delay beyond their control), they would still be permitted to board despite their test now being 75 hours before their flight to Canada since they still met the testing window requirement (i.e., original scheduled departure time and not the actual scheduled departure time).

72 hours versus 3 days:

In the instance where a traveller presents a test that has no time stamp, air carriers are to assess the test result using 3 days as the benchmark. Air carriers can use the date of the scheduled flight to Canada as day 1, and count backwards by 3 days, to determine the testing window.

Example: A traveller has a flight scheduled to Canada on Friday, March 5th, 2021 at 10am. They arrive at the airport with a valid molecular COVID-19 test result that is negative. The date stamp on the test result indicates March 2, 2021 for when the test was administered. The air carrier can use March 5th less 3 days, which brings us to March 2nd, as their basis to determine whether or not to board the traveller as indicated below in the following sample calculation:

Calculation:
From March 5 to March 4 (-1 day from departure)
From March 4 to March 3 (- 2 days from departure)
From March 3 to March 2 (- 3 days from departure) **limit**
= test is valid if administered on March 2nd or later

Information on Residual Positive:

As outlined in the PHAC Emergency Order, Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations), travellers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 are permitted to board a flight to Canada if they can provide proof of a positive COVID-19 molecular test result that is at least 14 days (e.g., from day 15 since test was administered) but not more than 90 days from the initial scheduled departure to Canada (this is referred to as a residual positive). They must also be symptom-free and pass the temperature check, as is the case with all travellers. This provision has been put in place to account for those travellers who previously contracted COVID-19, who have since recovered, but may still have lingering traces of the virus in their system and would still test positive (however are deemed no longer contagious). A traveller that presents a positive COVID-19 molecular test result within the accepted testing window does not need any other supporting documentation at this time; evidence of their positive COVID-19 molecular test within the accepted timeframe (of at least 14 days but not more than 90 days, which means a window of 15-90 days from when the test was administered) is sufficient.

Annex E – Additional Information on ArriveCAN

As outlined in the Transport Canada Interim Order, air operators are required to notify all travellers returning or travelling to Canada via air, that they may be required to digitally submit their suitable quarantine plan and booking reference for their pre-paid accommodation, 14 day travel history as well as their vaccination status and that failure to do so could result in a fine. This is to be done through ArriveCAN, within 72 hours prior to arrival in Canada, and includes providing: travel and contact information; 14 day travel history prior to arriving in Canada; booking reference for their pre-paid accommodation (if applicable, for example as of July 5, 2021 it is not applicable to fully vaccinated travellers); their vaccination status (this can be done before or when entering Canada); their suitable quarantine plan (unless exempt under conditions set out in Section 6(1) of the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations), and a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment. ArriveCAN is available as a mobile app or by signing in online through Canada.ca/ArriveCAN.

In the Interim Order, the notification requirement obliges air operators to notify travellers that they may be required to digitally submit information. This is because in some specific cases there is an exception. In these exceptional cases, it is acceptable to use the paper version to provide the required information. These exceptional cases include:

  • If the person is disabled;
  • If there is inadequate infrastructure;
  • If there is a service disruption; or
  • If there is a natural disaster.

It should be noted that the role of the air operator is to notify travellers of the mandatory digital submission of their information, as outlined above. Additionally, the Government of Canada is seeking cooperation and assistance from the air carriers in order to better inform travellers about the benefits available to them if they are fully vaccinated according to Canadian criteria, and facilitating their arrival in Canada. This includes reminding them to download the most recent version of ArriveCAN (as of July 5, 2021) in order to enable them to upload their vaccination information. In addition, Canadian airports designated to receive international passengers have asked that fully vaccinated travellers be provided with a visual signal (i.e, coloured card or sticker, as specified by the receiving airport). Air operators will know that a passenger is considered fully vaccinated by reviewing the ArriveCAN receipt, looking for the name of each specific traveller and ascertaining their status. Air operators will be able identify those that are vaccinated if there is an “i” or “v” next to the traveller’s name in the ArriveCAN receipt. An “i” on the receipt signals that the traveller has been vaccinated and there are no issues with upload the information while a “v” notes that the traveller has been vaccinated but there are upload issues. Please see Annex K for an example of the ArriveCAN receipt. For more details on fully vaccinated travellers and arrival processes, see Section 6.

Important Note: Until further notice, travellers who have not submitted their COVID-19 related information digitally through ArriveCAN prior to boarding are still allowed to board their flight and enter Canada, however, failure for a traveller to submit information using ArriveCAN could result fines upon arrival. Air operators can provide paper copy forms to travellers who refuse to submit their information digitally, however it should be noted that they should expect processing delays once in Canada. In the exceptional cases where paper forms need to be provided, it is recommended that this take place in flight in order to avoid congestion in the customs hall upon arrival. Travellers must digitally submit their vaccination status through ArriveCAN in order to take advantage of the benefits upon arrival in Canada (e.g., being exempt from the government approved accommodation as well as the obligation to quarantine and test again on day-8).

More information is available here: https://www.Canada.ca/ArriveCAN

Annex F – Additional Information on Face Masks

The Government of Canada requires that all travellers six years and older wear a face mask large enough to cover their mouth, nose and chin during their entire travel journey; this includes for fully vaccinated travellers. For more information on face masks, please consult: Non-Medical Masks: About.

Travellers must confirm that they have in their possession the mandatory face mask as part of the registration or check-in process, otherwise they will be denied boarding.

Refusal to comply with the wearing of a face mask could result in a fine of $5,000 for the traveller.

Safe Use of Removable Face Masks

Face masks should: Face masks should not:
  • Be made of multiple layersFootnote 1 of tightly woven fabric such as cotton or linen
  • Be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the mouth, nose and chin without gaps
  • Fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops (masks covering a person’s beard or secured around a headwear (e.g. turban) are also considered acceptable)Footnote 2
  • Be made of breathable materials
  • Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustments
  • Be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
  • Be stored in a clean paper or cloth bag until you put it on again
  • Be placed on children less than 2 years old
  • Be placed on anyone who’s unable to remove it without assistance
  • Be placed on anyone with a medical certificate indicating they should not wear a mask
  • Be made of materials that easily fall apart, like tissues
  • Be shared with others
  • Impair vision or interfere with tasks
  • Be removed to talk to someone

Note: If you're hard of hearing or interact with people who use lip-reading to communicate, consider wearing a clear maskFootnote 3.

The following outlines instances where there is an exception to the requirement to wear a face mask:

  • If a traveller has a medical certificate indicating they are unable to wear a face mask (see Conditions Preventing the Wearing of Face Masks or Face Coverings for an example certificate).

  • If the traveller is a child who is at least two years of age but less than six years of age (i.e., 2-5 years old) and is unable to tolerate wearing a face mask. In this case, the adult responsible for the child must still ensure that a face mask is made readily available to the child prior to boarding an aircraft for a flight and should still try to encourage the child to wear it.

    Note: Children six and older must wear a face mask when travelling, unless their parent or guardian has a medical certificate certifying they are unable to wear one due to medical reasons.

  • During the flight when the safety of the traveller could be endangered by wearing a face mask or for brief periods when the person is eating, drinking or taking oral medications.

    Note: travellers should make every effort to finish their drink or eat their food within a period of no longer than 15 minutes. Air operators are encouraged to use this guideline, which is defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada as the threshold for “prolonged exposure”, when enforcing this provision, however, it is acknowledged that there will be exceptional circumstances that will require some flexibility. It is also suggested that prior to serving any food or drinks in–flight that travellers be reminded that they are only allowed to remove their face mask for a brief period (which could mean 15 minutes or less) to finish drinking or eating and that they must keep their face mask on while waiting for any food or drink. Should a crew member feel the “brief” timeframe has been exceeded, they will ask them traveller to put their face mask back on. Failure to comply could result in a fine for the traveller.

  • When a person who is asked by an official of the air operator, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, Canada Border Services Agency officer, or a Canadian public health official to briefly remove their face mask at the security screening, boarding gate or customs controlled areas of the airport for identification purposes.

Annex G – Provincial/Territorial Travel Entry Requirements

Please note that provincial and territorial information changes on a frequent basis. It is recommended that the following provincial/territorial government websites be consulted to obtain the latest travel information:

Province/Territory

Provincial / Territorial Web link

Alberta

Travellers should consult Alberta COVID-19

British Columbia

Travellers should consult British Columbia COVID-19

Manitoba

Travellers should consult Manitoba COVID-19

New Brunswick

Travellers should consult New Brunswick COVID-19

Newfoundland and Labrador

Travellers should consult Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19

Northwest Territories

Travellers should consult Northwest Territories COVID-19

Nova Scotia

Travellers should consult Nova Scotia COVID-19

Nunavut

Travellers should consult Nunavut COVID-19

Ontario

Travellers should consult Ontario COVID-19

Prince Edward Island

Travellers should consult Prince Edward Island COVID-19

Quebec

Travellers should consult Quebec COVID-19

Saskatchewan

Travellers should consult Saskatchewan COVID-19

Yukon

Travellers should consult Yukon COVID-19

Annex H – In-flight Announcement Prior to Landing in Canada

In light of the global pandemic related to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has put in place emergency measures that require mandatory 14-day quarantine for all persons entering Canada, with few exceptions, even if the person does not have symptoms. These efforts will help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

All travellers are required to provide information prior to landing so that public health officials can contact you if needed. This is a reminder that it is now mandatory for all travellers flying to Canada to use ArriveCAN to submit your travel and contact information, 14 day travel history prior to arriving in Canada, booking reference for pre-paid government accommodations (if applicable), suitable quarantine plan, vaccination status and a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment. Travellers must be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada; a border services officer will verify that they have submitted their information digitally. Please note it is important that travellers download the most recent version of ArriveCAN as of July 5, 2021 in order to be able to update their vaccination information. For more information, or if you require assistance, visit Canada.ca/ArriveCAN.

Once travellers arrive in Canada, they will undergo a COVID-19 molecular test on-arrival, unless exempt. They will then be required to stay in a government approved accommodation for a period of three days while they await their test results, unless exempt. If exempt from on-arrival testing and/or staying in the government approved accommodation, individuals are still required to submit their contact information via ArriveCAN. As of July 5, 2021, if a traveller is deemed to be fully vaccinated they are exempt from staying at the government approved accommodation, the obligation to quarantine, and test again on day-8. More information can be found at travel.gc.ca.

Travellers are reminded that they must use their face mask during their travel journey, even if fully vaccinated. Upon landing, travellers will be required to wear their face mask when gathering their belongings and leaving the aircraft and until they reach the outside of the air terminal building.

Please have all your travel documentation, as well as your digital ArriveCAN receipt ready to present to officials upon arrival.

Stay safe and be informed about COVID-19 related information from the national, provincial and territorial health authorities.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Annex I – Retention Period of Records

Retention Period: 12 months
Information related to face mask infractions

The following information related to the failure of complying with instructions given by a crew member pertaining to wearing a face mask must be recorded and retained:

  • Date of flight number
  • Person’s name and contact info including the person’s date of birth, home address, telephone number and email
  • Person’s seat number
  • Circumstances of the incident [information to be kept 12 months post incident and made available to the Minister upon request]

Annex J – Template Letter for Crew

Template Letter for Crew

[Letterhead of Industry]

[Insert Date of Letter]

Re: Confirmation of Air Crew Members

To Whom it May Concern,

This letter is to confirm that [Name on Crew Identification] is a member of the air crew of [Name of Air Operator] by virtue of their position as [Crew Member’s Title]. The person is on active duty, or repositioning/returning to perform his/her duties within the next 14 days.

Please process them under any relevant exemptions for air crew:

They are considered an essential worker, crucial to the movement of goods and people and their travel is associated with this work.

It should be noted that while exempt from certain requirements, the crew member still must submit their contact information and maintain a list of close contacts for a period of 14 days.

Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the coordinates listed below.

Thank you,

[Name of Supervisor/Manager]
[Telephone Number of Supervisor/Manager]
[Email of Supervisor/Manager]