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Canada Tightens Net on International Arrivals

The government once again boosts restrictions and border measures for non-Canadian travelers

Canada’s borders continue to remain closed to non-essential travel from the US. Although some international travelers are being allowed to fly to Canada, new measures for those arriving to Canada’s air and land ports of entry have been announced.

As of Feb. 15, all travelers arriving to Canada by land, with some exceptions, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours of arrival, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival.

In addition, beginning Feb. 22, travelers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival as well as toward the end of their 14-day quarantine.

Starting Feb. 22, all travelers arriving to Canada by air, with some exceptions, will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test when they arrive in Canada before exiting the airport, and another toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period.

With limited exceptions, air travelers will also be required to reserve, prior to departure to Canada, a 3-night stay in a government-authorized hotel. Travelers will be able to book their government-authorized stay starting Feb. 18.

These new measures are in addition to existing mandatory pre-boarding and health requirements for air travelers.

As of Feb. 22, all travelers, whether arriving by land or air will be required to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan, electronically via ArriveCAN before crossing the border or boarding a flight.

Since Jan. 7, the government has required all arriving air passengers to present a negative COVID-19 test before they will be allowed to enter the country. Canada-bound travelers must provide a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight.

In a statement, the government of Canada said that it continues to strongly advise Canadians themselves to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel outside Canada, including vacation plans. The statement advises that “foreign nationals should likewise postpone or cancel travel plans to Canada. Now is not the time to travel.”

In announcing these new restrictions, Bill Blair, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, commented:

“With these additional COVID testing requirements and safety measures at the land border we are taking extra steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. As we do for air travel, we are now also requiring travelers by land to provide information using ArriveCAN to facilitate processing and limit points of contacts between border services officers and travelers. We’ll always prioritize the health and safety of Canadians as we make decisions.”

More information on essential business travel exemptions and other details of the restrictions can be found at the official government site here.