December 31 – Pre-departure COVID-19 testing and negative results to be required for all air travellers coming to Canada
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, is requiring that, effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. This implementation date provides all airlines, both foreign and domestic, adequate time to comply with the new requirements.
Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.
Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Pre-Departure COVID-19 Molecular Testing for Air Travellers FAQs
Travelling from the U.S. to Canada by Air? Travel Restrictions in Effect
Travelling from Overseas to Canada by Air? Travel Restrictions in Effect
September 30 – Face coverings with exhalation valves or vents, neck gaiters or bandanas are no longer permitted a pre-board screening checkpoints
All passengers must bring a face covering before entering the screening checkpoint. Acceptable face coverings are those that cover the mouth and nose, are made of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric (such as cotton or linen), and are properly secured to the head. Masks with an exhalation valve or vent, neck gaiters or bandanas; and militaristic masks such as gas masks or face coverings that cover the entire face are not considered acceptable face coverings. See the Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines on face coverings, including instructions on how to make your own.
If you cannot wear a face covering for medical or health reasons, you must provide a medical certificate signed by a medical professional confirming that you are unable to wear a face covering. The signed medical certificate is required in order for a passenger to be permitted to board their flight. Children under two years of age are not required to wear a face covering.
September 16 – COVID-19 information posters for air travellers
These posters provide information to air travellers on measures put in place by Transport Canada related to COVID-19 and air transportation to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
Travelling by air in Canada
Travelling from overseas to Canada by air
June 17 – The Minister of Transport has issued an Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19
The Minister of Transport has issued an Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, pursuant to sub-section 6.41 (1) of the Aeronautics Act, effective June 17, 2020, which repeals the previous Interim Order to Prevent Certain Persons from Boarding Flights in Canada due to COVID-19 signed on June 4, 2020.
Air operators advise passengers that they are required to wear a face mask during the deplaning process, from the moment the aircraft doors are open until the passengers are inside the air terminal building, when the person is 2 metres or less from another person, unless both persons are occupants of the same household.
June 16 – Temperature screening to be required for travellers at Canadian airports
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced an additional measure to this framework. The Government of Canada will now require temperature screenings for all passengers travelling to Canada or travellers departing Canadian airports for either international or domestic destinations.
The Government of Canada is taking a phased approach to implementing temperature screening.
- Phase 1: By June 30, 2020, all air operators will be required to conduct temperature screenings of all passengers travelling to Canada prior to departure from international or transborder points of departure.
- Phase 2: By the end of July, temperature screening stations will be placed in the departure section of the four major airports that are currently identified as the only Canadian airports for international travel (Montréal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver).
- Phase 3: By September 2020, temperature screening stations will be in place in the departure sections of the next 11 busiest airports in Canada (St. John’s, Halifax, Québec City, Ottawa, Toronto – Billy Bishop, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Kelowna, Victoria).
In addition, all employees and personnel that enter or work in the restricted area of the airport will be subject to temperature screening procedures by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority personnel.
June 3 – Minister Garneau announces new measures for the use of face coverings in the Canadian transportation sector
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced he is expanding the requirements for the use of face coverings by workers and others involved in the transportation system, to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
This approach for workers complements recent regulations and guidelines for passengers to use face coverings in certain circumstances when travelling by air, marine and rail to reduce the risk of the virus transmission. It also puts in place a more a comprehensive approach for face coverings that strengthens the protection of everyone involved in the transportation system.
The measures will be implemented through a combination of mandatory orders and guidance:
- Expand the existing face covering / non-medical mask requirements beyond passengers to include some flight crew and airport workers.
- These measures come into effect at noon EDT on June 4, 2020.
April 17 – New measures introduced for non-medical masks or face coverings in the Canadian transportation system
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced new measures requiring all air passengers to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel. These measures come into effect at noon EDT on April 20, 2020.
When travelling by air, travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose:
- At Canadian airport screening checkpoints, where the screeners cannot always keep two metres of separation between themselves and the traveller;
- When they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by the airline employees; and
- When directed to do so by a public health order or public health official.
Aviation passengers on all flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports will also be required to demonstrate they have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process otherwise they will not be allowed to continue on their journey. Passengers should follow the current Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidance on face coverings.
For more information on face covering requirements for air travellers, please click here.
March 30 – Government of Canada announces new domestic transportation measures
In order to manage the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada has announced new restrictions for air travel. All air operators are now required to:
- Conduct a health check of travellers before they board a flight within Canada or departing from Canada, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Refuse boarding to any passenger that presents COVID-19 symptoms.
- Notify travellers that they may be subject to provincial or territorial measures at their final destination.
March 25 – New Order Makes Self-Isolation Mandatory for Individuals Entering Canada
The Government of Canada announced that as of midnight, all travellers returning to Canada will be subject to a mandatory self-isolation period of 14 days according to provisions under the Quarantine Act. This will not apply to essential workers.
March 23 – Documents Needed for Air Travel
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and limited access to some provincial and territorial service centres, expired identification documents are temporarily accepted for travel within Canada.
This applies only if:
- You are travelling by air.
- You are using domestic air carriers to travel within Canada.
- Your identification document was issued by a Canadian government.
- Your identification document expired on March 1, 2020, or after.
This temporary measure is in effect until June 30, 2020.
March 20 – Prime Minister announces temporary border agreement with the United States
The Government of Canada announced that Canada and the United States have agreed to temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border. This collaborative and reciprocal measure between Canada and the United States will restrict non-essential travel across the border, including for tourism and recreation.
March 16 – Prime Minister announces new actions under Canada’s COVID-19 response
All incoming travellers, despite country of origin, will be asked by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers if they are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing or fever. They also will need to acknowledge that they are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they’re arriving from any international location.
The Government of Canada is barring entry to all travellers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. There will be exceptions for air crew, diplomats and immediate family members of citizens.
The Government of Canada announced new restrictions around air travel to Canada, including a limit on the number of airports accepting international flights in order to enhance screening.