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What You Need to Know About Travel Restrictions

Here’s what you need to know about current travel restrictions and requirements for coming back into Canada

A woman sits on her suitcase at an airport

Travel continues to be restricted in Canada and abroad due to emerging Covid-19 variants. Most recently, the federal government announced new testing and quarantine requirements for travellers arriving by air and land.

The government continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel. Although there are some exceptions—such as those who regularly cross the border to work or those who provide essential services—most people entering Canada are required to follow emergency orders under the Quarantine Act, which includes testing prior to travel, at the border and 10 days into quarantine. 

Here’s what you need to know about the government’s new travel requirements for arriving in Canada during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arrival by air

Travellers flying into Canada are required to take a molecular Covid-19 test upon arrival, before exiting the airport, and another on day 10 of their mandatory 14-day quarantine. They’re also required to book a three-night stay at a government-authorized hotel at their own expense while awaiting their airport arrival test results. This stay could cost upwards of $2,000 and includes the room, food, transportation, security, as well as cleaning and infection control measures.

Depending on their final destination within Canada, travellers may also be subject to provincial or territorial restrictions. These are in addition to any pre-existing requirements from the airlines, such as temperature screening and wearing masks on flights.

Arrival by land

Travellers arriving by land must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken in the U.S. within 72 hours of arrival (or if you are recovered from Covid-19, to show a positive molecular test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival). Travellers are also required to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival at the land border and again 10 days into their mandatory 14-day quarantine.


The federal government has extended a ban on cruise ships—which applies to all vessels carrying more than 100 people—from entering Canadian waters or stopping in a Canadian port, until February 28, 2022.

Submitting travel and quarantine plans

All travellers are required to submit their travel plans and contact information (including their quarantine plan) electronically via the ArriveCAN mobile app before boarding a flight or crossing a land border.

While there are some exemptions to this rule, such as compassionate entry to provide support for a loved one with a critical illness or if you’re receiving medical treatment unrelated to Covid-19, failure to provide accurate information or violating quarantine instructions are considered offences under the Quarantine Act, and could result in up to $750,000 in fines and/or up to six months in prison.

As the situation is evolving, visit the Government of Canada website for the most updated information on travel protocols and restrictions.

When travel is permitted again, and you feel ready to explore Canada or beyond, speak with a CAA Travel consultant who can help you book your holiday.

Image Credit: iStock.com/izusek