COVID-19: Further restrictions on travel announced

2 Feb 21

CANADA

IMPACT – HIGH

The Canadian government recently announced new, tougher restrictions on those wishing to enter the country.

Key Points:

  • All flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries will be suspended until April 30. A limited number of one-way flights will be operated to bring Canadian citizens and residents back to Canada.
  • As of 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Feb. 3, commercial flights arriving from the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America can only arrive at one of four Canadian airports: Calgary International Airport, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport or Vancouver International Airport.
  • Business, charter and private flights from all countries will also be required to land at one of the four airports mentioned above. Flights originating in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and cargo flights will remain exempt.
  • All air travelers to Canada must produce a negative results for a PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before boarding Canada-bound flights.
  • Ongoing developments for air travel are as follows:
    • All travelers will be required to submit to a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at the airport at their own expense. As of Feb. 1, Ontario has implemented mandatory testing at Toronto Pearson International Airport. Calgary International Airport, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Vancouver International Airport are expected to follow shortly.
    • All travelers will be required to quarantine at a designated hotel for three days at their own expense to await test results.
    • Upon receipt of a negative test result, travelers will be able to quarantine at their designated quarantine location for the remainder of the quarantine period.
    • If the traveler tests positive, it is anticipated that they will move to a federal quarantine facility.
  • Anticipated developments regarding land crossing into Canada from the United States are as follows:
    • The Canadian government has announced that there will be a new requirement that all travelers (with limited exceptions) seeking to cross by land from the U.S. to Canada will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Further details, including the implementation date and exceptions, are expected shortly.

Analysis & Comments: The changes will make business travel to Canada more difficult and time consuming. Employers planning on sending employees to Canada should take note of the changes and plan accordingly.

This alert was prepared by de Lint LLP, an independent immigration law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.