COVID-19 and International Travel

Level 2 - Practise enhanced health precautions (more details)

Original publication date: March 14, 2020

Updated: January 5, 2023


The Public Health Agency of Canada is advising travellers to practise enhanced health precautions when travelling internationally.

COVID-19 continues to circulate in Canada and internationally. The COVID-19 situation at your destination can change rapidly and can vary considerably from one destination to another, and even between regions within a country.

China has recently lifted many of its COVID-19 restrictions and is currently experiencing a significant increase in COVID-19 activity. There is an increased risk of becoming exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and there may be limited health care availability should you become sick while travelling. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that you consider those risks if you plan to travel to China, Hong Kong and Macao, and if you are at higher risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19, reconsider the timing of your travel until the situation improves. 

The virus that causes COVID-19 continues to change over time and new variants will appear. Remain vigilant and take measures to protect yourself and limit the spread to others.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably at least 6 weeks before you travel. Discuss which travel vaccinations may be right for you.

Anyone who has not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series should continue to avoid non-essential travel. If you must travel, consider delaying your plans until you receive COVID-19 vaccines.

All eligible travellers should complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada, at least 14 days before travelling.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. They can also provide some protection against infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Monitor and review Canada's travel requirements before and during your travel as they may change, with implications for your re-entry into Canada.

During your travel, destinations you are visiting may enforce strict lockdowns and/or limits on outgoing travel. You may also be subject to your destination’s infection-management procedures, such as isolation, should you get COVID-19 while abroad. You may have limited access to timely and appropriate health care should you become ill.

The content on this page is provided as advice and will continue to be re-evaluated based on the evolving situation in Canada and other countries. The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your safety abroad and travel arrangements to return home.

Before you travel

You should not travel if you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you are well and decide to travel:

  • Check for COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements, as well as other entry requirements for your destination. Information on these requirements can be found on the Entry/exit requirements tab of your destination page:

Travel Advice and Advisories

  • Monitor the COVID-19 situation at your destination in the days before travelling.
  • Review Canada's travel requirements applicable to your return
  • Find the contact information for the Canadian embassy or consulate closest to your destination and keep the information with you, in case:
    • there is an unforeseen lockdown, or
    • local health services become overwhelmed
  • Consider the availability and potentially high cost of adequate medical services in your destination, should you become ill.
  • Check with your travel insurance provider and make sure you're covered for:
    • COVID-19-related medical expenses
    • other non-COVID-19 emergency-related expenses
    • trip interruption
  • Plan for delays to your return home, including the financial implications and the practical arrangements (e.g. flight re-booking, extended accommodations at the destination etc.) you may need to make.

During your travel

  • Stay informed of the local COVID-19 situation and follow local COVID-19 public health advice and regulations.
  • Know where to access medical care, including a COVID-19 test.
  • Consistently follow individual public health measures, regardless of your vaccination status. These measures are most effective when layered together along with vaccination.
  • Follow local public health advice on when you should wear a mask. Even if masks aren't required in your area or the setting you're in, wearing a high quality, well fitted mask is an added layer of protection.
    • Whether you're vaccinated or not, you should consider wearing a mask in shared spaces when you're with people from outside of your immediate household.
  • Physical distancing may be required or recommended in public settings and is advised when in shared spaces with people outside of your immediate household.
  • Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not available. It's a good idea to always keep some with you when you travel.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
    • If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The types of activities and actions you take while travelling will influence the likelihood of your exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.

  • Avoid high-risk activities, such as visiting crowded indoor or outdoor settings. Examples include:
    • large live performances
    • busy bars or sports events
    • travel in crowded and closed-in and/or poorly ventilated forms of transportation (e.g., a local bus/minibus)
  • Consider selecting activities and forms of transportation where proof of vaccination is required.
  • Use caution in closed spaces and crowded places when with people from outside of your immediate household or travel group. When possible, improve indoor air quality in shared spaces by opening windows and doors when it is safe to do so and as weather permits.

Returning to Canada

Effective January 5, 2023, the Government of Canada has put in place certain temporary COVID-19 health measures for air travellers entering Canada from China, Hong Kong and Macao.

Regularly review Canada’s travel requirements as they may change during your travel. 

COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders

You should not travel if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

If you feel sick or experience any symptoms of COVID-19 during your flight to Canada or upon arrival, inform the flight attendant or a border services officer upon arrival.  COVID-19 remains one of many communicable diseases listed in the Quarantine Act.

Information for Health Care Professionals

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.

Registration of Canadians Abroad

If you need assistance with a special circumstance

Contact the Public Health Agency of Canada

COVID-19 information line: 1-833-784-4397

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