canada reopening borders

Canada’s borders open only for essential travel: All you need to know

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

Canadian borders remain closed for tourism. Only essential travelers, extended family members, international students, and few other exceptions are allowed to enter at the moment.

To be granted entry, passengers must submit proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result and undergo a 3-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel at a cost of CAD $2,000 per person. 

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Canada Opening Tourism – Latest Updates

Canada travel restrictions

February 9 – New set of restrictions

In order to do “whatever is necessary to keep Canadians safe” Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has released a new package of restrictions to help contain the spread of the new highly-contagious strains first discovered in the U.K and South Africa. Among them,

  • The Canada-US border measures were extended, at least, until at least February 21.
  • Flights to the Caribbean and Mexico were banned for the next 3 months.
  • Cruise ships entry was banned until 2022.
  • Returning Canadians will must undergo a 3-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel at their own expense. 

Vaccination rollout

So far, Canada has administered 2,90 doses per 100 people

December 29 – UK COVID strain confirmed in Canada

Officials confirmed a new strain of Coronavirus in Ontario, Canada. The infected couple was placed in isolation and additional measures are taken to control the spread in the community.

December 23

On December 23, Canada authorized the vaccination and began with vaccinating healthcare workers. The official date for the reopening of tourism has not been announced yet. (Source: abcnews.go.com)

November 26 – New entry restrictions

All travelers entering the country must provide their COVID-19 and travel related info and their quarantine plan before arrival. 

To do so, they should use the new ArriveCAN app or on the ArriveCAN website. They can also call 1-833-641-0343 to submit the required information. 

Once in the country, visitors have 48 hours to confirm they have arrived at the place designated in their quarantine plan.

Following that confirmation, they must complete a daily self-assessment of coronavirus symptoms and submit it to the country’s health authorities.

(Source: Forbes)

When is the Canada-U.S. border reopening?

The Canadian government has officially extended the border closure until February 21.


COVID-19 in Canada

Canada, like all nations throughout the world, has suffered greatly as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As of February 9, the country has reported 802,260 cases and 20,767 deaths.

As expected, the crisis hit certain areas of the country harder – namely those areas that were more populated.

Canada has been generally praised for its response to COVID. The country managed to keep its confirmed cases relatively low. Like many western countries, its rate of COVID-positive cases has been declining.

Canada’s Borders Remain Closed

Canada reopening - travel restrictions

Canada’s borders are closed to nonessential travel and tourism. Indeed, they have been closed since mid-March. The long border between the United States and Canada – the longest non-militarized border in the world – also remains closed.

As was noted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the move was designed to protect both countries from furthering the spread of COVID.

There are some exceptions, including visiting family members or international students. Business exceptions only exist for essential work.

In other words, if you can conduct business via Zoom, you should, because you will not be allowed entry into Canada.

For non-U.S. travelers, the same basic restrictions apply. Travel restrictions for other foreigners are currently in place. Please consult your embassy.

It is highly possible for these restrictions to be extended again. There are, however, some exceptions.

Who can travel to Canada now?

Canada’s shutdown measures are severe. There are some exceptions, but they are mostly related to essential workers or people who regularly travel to Canada for work. Although, the country is hearing appeals via letter.

Canadian nationals who are abroad are allowed to return to Canada. However, no one – including Canadian nationals – will be allowed to enter the country if they show any signs of COVID-19.

Regardless of who is coming to Canada, and for what reason, all people entering the country are required to adhere to certain conditions before being able to freely move. These includes,

  • Submit proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test result. 
  • Filling out basic screening information.
  • Quarantining for 3 days (or more) at a quarantine hotel at their own expense. 

Failure to adhere to these restrictions can result in significant fines or jail time.

How safe is it to visit Canada now?

Canada is at warning level 4 by the CDC organization. Any kind of traveling to Canada is not recommended due to the high risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. (CDC.gov)

Canada reopening - travel restrictions

Like other places around the world, the Canadian tourism industry has taken a massive hit during this time. As noted by many news reports, the industry has been in terrible shape since the start of this pandemic.

Many locations have closed altogether, and the industry, as a whole, is advocating for significant financial help.

As a result of the closures, Canada’s tourism industry has shifted gears, promoting internal tourism and spending millions to encourage Canadians to go on local vacations – or “staycations” – that involves spending money within the country’s borders.

The good news is that many places are now open. For example, the vast majority of Niagara Falls’ attractions are now open for business.

The same applies to the CN Tower in Toronto. Indeed, most tourist attractions are open, but for internal visitations only.

The good news is that the country does have a better grasp of the COVID crisis than other countries, including their neighbors to the south. 

(Spanish version: Reapertura de Canada para el turismo – Restricciones de viaje)

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