On November 30, 2021, the Government of Canada announced additional border measures and new bans to combat the spread of the COVID-19 variant Omicron.
All travelers arriving to Canada from any country except the United States will be tested for COVID-19 immediately upon arrival in Canada. This applies to subject travelers, regardless of their vaccination status. This requirement also applies to Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada from countries other than the United States.
Fully vaccinated travelers who are tested after arrival should self-isolate while awaiting the results of their arrival test. The government has not specified a quarantine length, but it appears travelers can expect a two to four day quarantine while awaiting test results. Unless traveling from a country where entry is prohibited as noted below, travelers will likely be able to self-quarantine at home or other locations of their choice.
The government has not officially announced a date for the implementation of these new testing measures, but Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has said the new requirements will come into force, “as quickly and as much as possible during the next few days “.
To date, the federal government has reported at least six confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Canada’s deputy chief public health officer described the improved border measures as a temporary tool to help the government adjust.
Countries with entry bans into Canada
Along with the return of post-arrival testing and quarantine rules, the Government of Canada has announced a number of new travel bans for countries that have an Omicron variant outbreak or may have an outbreak. As of December 1, 2021, foreign nationals who have stayed in one of the following countries in the last 14 days will be prohibited from entering Canada:
- South Africa
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and persons with status under the Indian Act who have visited the countries listed above in the last 14 days will be subject to the following requirements:
- Within 72 hours of departure, obtain a valid negative COVID-19 molecular test in a third country before continuing your trip to Canada
- Test on arrival in Canada, regardless of vaccination status or history of positive tests for COVID-19
- Complete a test on day 8 after arrival and quarantine for 14 days
Travelers arriving by air from a listed country will be required to remain in a designated quarantine facility while awaiting the result of their arrival test. They will be allowed to travel more once they receive a negative arrival test result.
Travelers arriving by land may be allowed to proceed directly to their quarantine location. They need a proper quarantine plan, which means they have no contact with anyone they haven’t traveled with and have private transportation to their home. place of quarantine. If ground travelers do not have an appropriate quarantine plan, they should stay in a designated quarantine facility.
Reminder of requirements for fully vaccinated travelers
As we previously highlighted in our recent blog, Important Updates to Canada’s COVID-19 Travel Rules, as of November 30, 2021, fully vaccinated Canadians returning to Canada within 72 hours are no longer required. to provide a molecular test result prior to entry. .
All other fully vaccinated travelers, whether Canadian citizens or not, must comply with the following conditions:
- View a pre-entry molecular test
- Use the ArriveCan app to upload proof of vaccination
- Take an arrival test if selected and applicable
We will continue to monitor restrictions and exemptions as provided by the Government of Canada. To stay up to date with all current immigration and COVID-19 updates, visit the MLT Aikins COVID-19 Resource Center.
MLT Aikins’ immigration group can provide advice and assistance to ensure that all potential travelers are fully aware of their ability to travel and if any exemptions apply.
Note: This article is general in nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should only be interpreted in the context of special circumstances such that these documents are not intended to be relied upon or considered to be legal opinions or opinions. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.