My office has received many questions on travel outside of Canada during these unprecedented times.
Below are some commonly asked questions, as well as links to important information and contact numbers.
If you have any travel questions not answered below, please feel free to contact my office directly.
I heard that the Canada-U.S. Border is closing. When is that happening?
- The Canada-U.S. Border closed at Midnight on March 20th, 2020 to all non-essential travel.
- For more information on the U.S.-Canada joint border closure for non-essential purposes, please visit here.
Do you have more information on the recent domestic travel restrictions in place?
- By air:
- A requirement for all air operators to conduct a health check of travellers before they board a flight within Canada or departing from Canada, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This would include asking health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the traveller follow guidance from local health authorities.
- A requirement for air operators to refuse boarding to a passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms. The denial will remain in effect for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19. These measures will apply to aircraft with 10 seats or more.
- A requirement for air operators to notify travellers that they may be subject to provincial or territorial measures at their final destination.
- By rail:
- A requirement for intercity passenger rail companies to do a health check to screen passengers for COVID-19 symptoms before they board a train, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This will include company representatives asking simple health questions, looking for visible signs of illness prior to boarding, and recommending the passenger follow guidance from local health authorities.
- A requirement for intercity passenger rail companies to refuse boarding to a passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms. The denial will remain in effect for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms that the traveller’s symptoms are not related to COVID-19.
- These measures do not apply to commuter trains.
- For general information on these restrictions, visit here.
I am currently outside of Canada. Should I be returning home to Canada earlier than planned?
- Yes, you should!
- It’s recommended that all Canadians abroad return to Canada by commercial means while they are still available.
- However, some countries have put measures in place such as closing land borders and in some cases shutting down airspace.
- In some cases, such measures can go as far as the complete cancellation of flights for an indeterminate amount of time and may prevent some Canadians from leaving the country in which they are located.
Either me or my family member is outside of Canada and is affected by travel bans. What should we do?
- First, all travelers should register online with Global Affairs at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration
- Canadians travelling outside of Canada in need of emergency consular assistance can contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email email@example.com.
- More information can be found here: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-assistance
The Government mentioned that there is financial support for Canadians abroad. How can I access that?
- The government set up a loan program of up to $5,000 per person to assist Canadians who need to either book an emergency flight or extend their stay abroad. For financial assistance, Canadians abroad can contact the nearest Government of Canada office, Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (call collect where available) or email finances.CV19@international.gc.ca.
- A form for Canadians seeking financial assistance abroad can be found here: https://www.international.gc.ca/covid-19-loan-pret/form-formulaire.aspx?lang=eng
- More information can also be found here: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-info/financial-assistance/covid-19-financial-help
What happens when I return to Canada?
- All travelers returning from outside Canada must complete mandatory self-isolation for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
- Failure to self-isolate may result in fines or prison time.
- If you have symptoms upon arrival, CBSA will provide instructions and will direct you to health authorities.
- If you develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days:
- Continue to isolate yourself from others
- Immediately call your health care professional or the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit closest to you.
- How to self-isolate
Should I be cancelling my travel plans because of COVID-19?
- To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
- If you must travel outside of the country during this time, you should do the following:
- The Government of Canada is also advising that you avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, until further notice.
Will travel insurance cover me if I get COVID-19 outside of the country?
- On March 13th, 2020 the official global travel advisory came into affect. As a result, travel insurance providers are no longer providing coverage for travel booked on or after this date.
- If you are already outside Canada, including the United States, choosing to stay abroad could change or complicate your travel health insurance coverage, including losing coverage for COVID-19 and other conditions. Your travel insurance provider may only give you a 10-day notice before placing limits on your insurance policy. It is your responsibility to know and understand the terms of your insurance policy. Read the fine print carefully and ask for help, if you need it. Check with your travel insurance provider to know more about your policy related to COVID-19.
Other Important Links:
Travel Advisories: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
General COVID-19 Travel Advice: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html#
Border tips for returning Canadian snowbirds: https://www.canada.ca/en/border-services-agency/news/2020/03/border-tips-for-returning-canadian-snowbirds.html