Canada extends quarantine measures and travel restrictions until June 21

THE Government of Canada announced on Friday that it is extending the temporary travel measures restricting entry into Canada by foreign nationals until June 21.

To continue managing the elevated risk of imported COVID-19 cases into Canada, the government has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India and Pakistan until June 21 at 23:59 EDT.

The government is also extending the requirement for air passengers who depart India or Pakistan to Canada, via an indirect route, to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

Canada’s approach to border management includes entry and flight restrictions; mandatory pre-arrival, on-arrival, and post-arrival testing requirements; mandatory hotel stopover for air travellers; and mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers. The Government of Canada is also extending those measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

The government said that as the science and evidence evolve and knowledge of the virus and variants increases, the policies to keep Canadians safe will evolve as well. Current data shows that Canada’s pre-arrival, on-arrival, and post-arrival testing requirements, as well as mandatory hotel stay for air travellers, are working. The government’s response will continue to prioritize protecting the health and safety of Canadians, while also ensuring the safe flow of goods and services that are necessary for the Canadian economy.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said: “As the number of COVID-19 cases remain disproportionally high in India and Pakistan, we have extended our flight restrictions and third country pre-departure testing requirements for these countries. These ongoing measures are in place to help protect Canadians, and manage the elevated risk of imported cases of COVID-19 and variants of concern into Canada during a time of increasing pressure on our health care system.”

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said: “We are extending the testing and quarantine measures at the border because they protect Canadians. As our health care system grapples with the third wave of the pandemic, our government will continue to adjust its response to COVID-19. I encourage all Canadians to get vaccinated when it’s their turn, and to keep following local public health measures.”

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have taken strong action at our borders to protect Canadians while maintaining the flow of essential goods. We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians as we adapt to the changing reality of the pandemic.”

Quick Facts

  • To address unique situations along the Canada-U.S. border, residents of Alaska who transit through Yukon by car to get to another part of Alaska, and residents of Northwest Angle, Minnesota, travelling by car through Canada to mainland U.S., will be exempt from pre- and post-arrival testing
  • Travellers must continue to use ArriveCAN to provide COVID-related information, but must enter it within 72 hours prior to their arrival to Canada. In addition, travellers must submit their travel history for the 14 days before entering Canada. This information will help identify and monitor countries with high importation rates of COVID-19 and variants of concern.
  • Positivity rates for those arriving by air (1.7%) and land (0.3%) remain very low. The measures have resulted in 96% less air traffic and a 90% drop in non-commercial traffic entering Canada by land, compared to pre-pandemic volumes.
  • All travellers entering Canada must submit their information, including details of their 14-day travel history, electronically using ArriveCAN. This information must be entered into ArriveCAN within 72 hours before a travellers’ arrival to Canada to ensure accuracy and to help monitor importation of COVID-19
  • Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to series penalties, including 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.
  • The Government of Canada currently contacts more than 5,500 travellers each day through live-agent or interactive automated phone calls, which verify their compliance with the mandatory isolation order.
  • As of May 18, 2021, 97% of the 90,044 interventions by law enforcement have resulted in compliance by travellers. However, in a minority of cases, verbal warnings, written warnings, tickets, and charges have been issued.
  • As of May 20, 2021, there have been 1,577 reported contraventions tickets issued for offences under the Quarantine Act.

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