The Canadian government has introduced new testing and quarantine requirements for people traveling to the country.

Key Points:

  • Testing requirement for land travelers. Beginning yesterday, Feb. 15, people traveling to Canada by land must provide (1) proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken in the United States within 72 hours before arriving in Canada or (2) proof of a positive test result between 14 and 90 days before arrival. Essential workers, including truckers, emergency services providers and cross-border commuters, are exempt. Additional information is available here.
  • Testing on arrival for land travelers. On Feb. 22, officials will begin implementing a policy of requiring people traveling to Canada by land to be tested at the border for COVID-19. Initially, testing will be available at five ports of entry, with 11 additional ports of entry added on March 4. Travelers will also be required to take a test toward the end of their 14-day quarantine.
  • Testing on arrival for air travelers. Beginning on Feb. 22, all air travelers will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival before leaving the airport; they must take a test again toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period. Travelers will also be required to reserve a three-night stay in a government-authorized hotel near one of the four airports (Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) that are currently accepting international travelers. If they receive a negative test result, they will be able to take a connecting flight to their final destination. The new requirements will be in addition to current testing requirements for air travel.
  • ArriveCAN for air and land travelers. Beginning Feb. 22, anyone traveling to Canada by air or land will be required to submit travel and contact information, and their quarantine plan, electronically via ArriveCAN before boarding a flight or crossing the border. Travelers must continue to submit COVID-19 information on a daily basis until the end of their quarantine period.

Analysis & Comments: The changes will make business travel to Canada more difficult and time consuming, and officials in Canada are warning against nonessential travel to or from the country. The response to COVID-19 continues to change and more information will be provided as it becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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