Travel restrictions in Canada
Entry, borders and transit
COVID-19 testing required for people flying into Canada
Starting January 7, 2021, air travellers 5 years of age or older are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights bound for Canada. See new requirements for air travellers.
Mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation
Everyone entering Canada must follow mandatory isolation or quarantine requirements. Not respecting the mandatory requirements is a serious offence and you could face consequences and penalties.
On this page
- Reduced services
- What to expect on entry
- Transit between Alaska and the rest of the United States
- Transit through Canadian waters
- Transit to another country by air
In response to COVID-19, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has temporarily reduced its service hours or temporarily suspended its services at some border crossings.
Consult the reduced service hours and suspended services for:
What to expect on entry
Temporary border restrictions on entry into Canada continue.
There are many factors that come into play when Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is determining if you are permitted to enter Canada. It is important to note that the final determination is made by a border services officer at the port of entry. They base their decision on the information presented to them at the time of entry into Canada.
In addition to the temporary entry restriction in place due to COVID-19, you must meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation.
A Border Services Officer will deny you entry unless you are:
- a Canadian citizen
- a permanent resident of Canada
- a temporary resident of Canada
- a protected person (refugee status)
- a person registered under the Indian Act or
- a foreign national with a non-discretionary (non-optional) reason to travel to Canada
Foreign nationals with symptoms will not be allowed to enter Canada.Find out if you can travel to Canada
Submit your information using ArriveCAN
When seeking entry into Canada by any mode (air, land or marine), you must provide your contact information to a Border Services Officer.
The Canada Border Services Agency collects this information on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada to help enforce compliance with the 14-day quarantine or isolation requirement.
Use ArriveCAN to enter Canada
How we screen travellers
All travellers are assessed, no matter their country of origin, upon arrival to Canada. Entry screening is one of many important public health tools. It is part of a multi-layered government response strategy.
When you arrive in Canada at an air, land, marine or rail border, a Border Services Officer will ask you:
- what the purpose of your visit is
- whether you are feeling ill or unwell
- other questions as needed to complete their assessment
CBSA officers will look for signs of illness, regardless of how you respond to screening questions. Officers will refer any traveller they suspect is ill for a further medical assessment by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
All travellers entering Canada are given a Public Health Agency of Canada handout with instructions to quarantine for 14 days.
You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering upon arrival in Canada. Masks or face coverings may be provided upon arrival as appropriate.
You must comply with:
False information and compliance with the Emergency Order
Providing false information is considered misrepresentation and has consequences. If you provide false immigration information or false information about the purpose of your travel, you may be denied entry and/or be banned from returning to Canada.
Consequences for failure to comply with the Emergency Order.
Transit between Alaska and the rest of the United States
You may travel through Canada to Alaska by land for non-discretionary (non-optional) reasons, but there are strict entry conditions.
You will need to have proof your entry into Canada is not optional, such as:
- proof of residence or employment in Alaska if going north
- proof of residence or employment in the lower 48 states if going south
Going south: You may use any port of entry
Entry into Canada from Alaska on the northern border is not limited to a specific port of entry.
Going north: Specific places you must enter (ports of entry)
When travelling from the lower 48 states en route to Alaska, you must enter Canada at one of the 5 identified CBSA ports of entry (POE).
- Abbotsford-Huntingdon (British Columbia)
- Coutts (Alberta)
- Kingsgate (British Columbia)
- North Portal (Saskatchewan)
- Osoyoos (British Columbia)
Upon arrival at one of the designated POE, you must prove to a Border Services Officer (BSO) that you meet the requirements for entry into Canada. You must have documentation that will demonstrate the purpose of your travel.
Your vehicle tag
As an in-transit traveller, you will be issued a vehicle "hang tag". You must attach the hang tag to your rear view mirror for the duration of your trip to or from Alaska.
The front of the tag will make it clear that you are transiting through Canada. It will include the date that you must depart Canada. The back of the tag will remind you to comply with all conditions of entry and will list public health and safety measures you must follow.
Follow a designated route
- You will be allowed a reasonable amount of time to get from your POE to either Alaska or the lower 48 states
- You must travel using the most direct route from the POE to your intended port of exit
- You must avoid all national parks, leisure sites, and tourism activities
Mandatory masks and physical distancing during transit
Following admission into Canada, you will receive a Public Health Agency of Canada handout. The document clearly states that you should:
- avoid contact with others while in transit
- remain in the vehicle as much as possible
- not make any unnecessary stops
- practice physical distancing at all times
- pay at the pump if you need gas
- use a drive through if you need food
- wear a suitable non-medical mask or face covering while in transit, unless you are alone in a private vehicle
- ensure good hygiene practices if you need to use a rest area
In-transit travellers are encouraged to use only those services that are open to travellers along the direct route on which they are travelling.
Reporting requirement on exit
Before re-entering the U.S. you must report to the nearest Canada Border Services Agency port of entry to confirm your exit from Canada.
Transit through Canadian waters
You currently cannot enter Canadian waters for optional reasons, such as:
- pleasure fishing
You may still navigate through international or Canadian waters while in transit directly from one place outside Canada to another place outside Canada, if the transit is:
- by the most reasonable route
Mandatory masks and physical distancing during transit
Transiting travellers may only make essential stops along the way, including to use facilities, refuel or for essential supplies.
You must follow physical distancing practices and wear a non-medical mask or face covering during these stops.
Anchoring and quarantine requirements
You may stop and anchor out of ordinary navigation, particularly if it becomes dangerous to navigate at night or if the crew must rest before safely continuing your trip.
If you anchor to spend the night, you must quarantine on your vessel or boat. If this is not possible, you may quarantine at a hotel until you are ready to resume your trip.
Reporting requirement if you land on Canadian soil
If at any point a transiting vessel lands on Canadian soil, anchors, moors or comes alongside another vessel in Canadian waters, or if anyone onboard disembarks in Canada, the operator must report to the CBSA.
You may not land for an optional reason.
The CBSA and its law enforcement partners are actively monitoring Canadian waterways. If you fail to report to the CBSA, even if your purpose is non-discretionary (non-optional) such as to refuel, you may face severe penalties. Failure to report may also affect your immigration admissibility and ability to re-enter Canada in the future.
Transit to another country by air
You may be permitted to transit through Canada to reach another country.
Before travelling you must:
- make your travel arrangements to transit through Canada well in advance
- make flights and connections as direct as possible to limit your contact in Canada; multiple domestic connections may not be considered appropriate
- make connections that are as short as possible; if your connecting flight is more than 24 hours apart you will need to quarantine (self-isolate) until your next flight
While travelling you must:
- remain in the secure transit area of a Canadian airport to complete your connection. Should you need to leave the airport or the secure transit area due to a flight cancellation or delay, you become subject to mandatory quarantine until your flight departs
- comply with any guidelines provided by the Airport Authority and follow all flight requirements
- follow the provincial and territorial restrictions, depending where you are transiting through
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