Canadian borders are closed! Now what?!

Being separated during Pandemic, maybe one of the most stressful times in your life. For a short period of time maybe bearable, for almost a year - unimaginable. With countries experiencing rise of new variants and strains of the virus, you maybe asking yourself a question "What are my options?" and "Will I ever see my family again?"... This time is particularly hard on spouses and children. The recent announcement from Canadian government that restrictions are not only to stay for the next several moths but the rules have been imposed to make the arrivals to Canada much stricter.

What to expect on entry

Temporary border restrictions on entry into Canada continue.

There are many factors that come into play when Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is determining if you are permitted to enter Canada. It is important to note that the final determination is made by a border services officer at the port of entry. They base their decision on the information presented to them at the time of entry into Canada.

In addition to the temporary entry restriction in place due to COVID-19, you must meet the entry requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and provide appropriate travel and immigration documentation.

A Border Services Officer will deny you entry unless you are:

  • a Canadian citizen

  • a permanent resident of Canada

  • a temporary resident of Canada

  • a protected person (refugee status)

  • a person registered under the Indian Act or

  • a foreign national with a non-discretionary (non-optional) reason to travel to Canada

Foreign nationals with symptoms will not be allowed to enter Canada.

Submit your information using ArriveCAN

When seeking entry into Canada by any mode (air, land or marine), you must provide your contact information to a Border Services Officer.

The Canada Border Services Agency collects this information on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada to help enforce compliance with the 14-day quarantine or isolation requirement.

How CBSA screen travellers

All travellers are assessed, no matter their country of origin, upon arrival to Canada. Entry screening is one of many important public health tools. It is part of a multi-layered government response strategy.

When you arrive in Canada at an air, land, marine or rail border, a Border Services Officer will ask you:

  • what the purpose of your visit is

  • whether you are feeling ill or unwell

  • other questions as needed to complete their assessment

CBSA officers will look for signs of illness, regardless of how you respond to screening questions. Officers will refer any traveller they suspect is ill for a further medical assessment by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

All travellers entering Canada are given a Public Health Agency of Canada handout with instructions to quarantine for 14 days.

You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering upon arrival in Canada. Masks or face coverings may be provided upon arrival as appropriate.

You must comply with:

  • mandatory quarantine requirements

  • provincial and territorial restrictions

Major Canadian airlines shut down their Mexican and Caribbean routes on Sunday, as part of an agreement with the government. As of Wednesday, all inbound flights will land in either Montreal, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver. After that, all incoming passengers will be tested for COVID-19, and will have to wait up to three days at a government-approved hotel for their results, at their own cost.

Starting at 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 3, all international passenger, private and charter flights, including from the U.S., will land at the Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal airports. Cargo-only flights will remain exempt.

The prime minister said the government will soon be introducing mandatory PCR testing at the airport for people returning to Canada "as soon as possible in the coming weeks." That's on top of the pre-boarding test already required.

Travellers will then have to wait up to three days at a government-approved hotel for their test results, at their own expense, which Trudeau said is expected to be more than $2,000. Transport Canada said there will be "very limited exceptions."

Those with a negative test will then be able to finish their 14-day quarantine at home, with increased surveillance. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam added that returnees will also be swabbed on day 10.

She also said travellers who have been vaccinated abroad will still be subject to the quarantine rules, but added that's under discussion.

To find out more information regarding up to date travel restrictions, contact

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