On January 29, 2021, the Canadian Government announced further travel restrictions to protect the health and safety of Canadians and reduce the spread of Covid 19. Additional measures were put into place effective February 15, 2021 for land border crossings. These, along with the most current travel updates, can be found at the Canadian Government’s Travel Advisory page at www.travel.gc.ca It is important to check these updates frequently both before your departure and before your planned return to Canada, as changes may affect your travel plans.
The New Rules Include
- All persons entering Canada via air will be required to have a PCR test completed at the airport (this mandatory test is in addition to presenting a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before boarding any flight to Canada). While awaiting test results, which can take up to three days, travelers will be required to quarantine in a designated hotel at their own expense. Be sure to understand what is and is not covered as it pertains to your insurance coverage, as these costs will most likely be out of pocket.
- Travelers with negative tests will be required to complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine at home or designated location. This location will be the location that you provide upon your arrival and you will be subject to potential verifications that you are at this location.
- Travelers with positive test results will be required to complete their 14 day quarantine in a designated government facility. At the end of the quarantine period, another PCR test must be taken with a negative result in order to end the quarantine.
- Canada’s Airlines will suspend all flights to and from Mexico and the Caribbean countries until April 30, 2021. This date is subject to change.
- Individuals traveling for non-essential reasons will have to show a negative PCR test result, taken within the last 72 hours, at land borders. Failure to present a test result can result in a fine of up to $3000.
Things to consider before traveling
- The current deadline for the new restrictions is in place until April 30, 2021. This date is subject to change upon review of the ever-changing health climate. Please consult the Canadian Government’s website for full advisory updates.
- Ensure that you have proper coverage in place before you leave. Ensure the dates of your departure and return are correct and adjusted as needed prior to your departure and prior to the policy expiry.
- Different insurance carriers hold different positions in regards to coverage when traveling to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. It is recommended that you verify and understand the wording of your policy to confirm whether or not you have coverage should you have any side-effects from receiving the vaccine.
- PCR testing is mandatory. Results from other testing methods will not be accepted as viable when returning to Canada by air or land. Are you able to secure a location close to your travel destination to book a PCR test prior to your trip home? Your insurance provider will not cover the cost of a PCR test, which is typically $100 - $200 depending on location. Keep all original receipts, as the test can be claimed as a medical expense come income tax preparation time.
- Ensure that you have Covid coverage before you leave, and understand the what coverage you have. It only takes a moment to check in with your carrier to obtain full details of your coverage.
- Know that for any non-essential travel, borders can open or close at a moment’s notice. This means that you could be stranded! Have alternative arrangements made prior to your departure to ensure that your needs are met. Due to the current pandemic, the Canadian Government will not repatriate any of its citizens in the event of an outbreak.