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New Public Health Measures for International Travel to Canada

February 1, 2021

The Federal Government announced on Friday that it is increasing measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19 from international travel to Canada. 

Specifically:

  • As of January 31, 2021, Canada is suspending flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30. Arrangements are being made to bring home those who are already in those areas.
  • As of 11:59 pm ET this Wednesday (Feb. 3), all international passenger, private, and charter flights, including from the US, will be routed through the Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal airports.
  • As soon as the government is able to get it in place, and possibly as early as Thursday, February 4, 2021:
    • All arriving international passengers (including from the US) will undergo mandatory PCR testing upon landing (in addition to the test they need to show prior to boarding).
      • This particular measure (test only) is being rolled out sooner at Toronto Pearson airport, where the Ontario government is making it mandatory as of noon ET on February 1, 2021.
    • Each traveler will be required to reserve a room at a Government-approved hotel in one of the 4 hub cities for 2-3 days until the results of the test are known. This will be at the traveler’s expense and could cost upwards of CAD$2,000.
    • It is unclear at this time whether the employer will be required to pay this cost for temporary foreign workers, but this would be in line with previous measures to protect workers.
    • Once negative results are received, the traveler can then continue on to their final destination to wait out the remainder of their 14-day quarantine. A further test during this period may be required.
  • The Government intends to make a negative COVID-19 test mandatory for land border crossings as well. No date has been set yet for this.