What’s the Covid-19 situation in Canada? Are there any restrictions?

Canada dealt with the first wave of Covid-19 very well, making it safe to travel in 2021. However, a deadly second wave in late 2020 led to new restrictions. The country has now in the enrolled a nationwide Covid-19 vaccine program.

Though case figures have been in decline since January, the Canadian government says “given the number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.”

Government officials in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province,  warned that it was at the beginning of a third wave of the covid19 pandemic, giving evidence of increasing case counts, hospitalizations and of variants spread.

Lockdown restrictions have been eased in Quebec, allowing some non-essential businesses to reopen, though a curfew has been in place for more than two months.

Strictest Covid19 prevention measures have been adopted in Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, with non-residents needing to apply for approval to visit in advance. 

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Who can travel to Canada in 2021?

Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter Canada, but they must quarantine for 14 days. Immediate and extended family members, including those without Canadian citizenship, can enter for any reason as long as they are staying in the country for more than 15 days and they must also quarantine. Those coming for fewer than 15 days can only enter for an essential purpose.

All extended family members who are not immediate family must have a written permission from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).Only essential travel and transiting passengers are otherwise allowed.

What are the restrictions?

Canada announced further testing and quarantine requirements for international travelers arriving in Canada by air and land on February 12 2021. 

Only these four major airports are accepting international flights: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Since November 21 2020, all permitted arrivals have been using the ArriveCAN app or website to submit travel and contact information, a 14-day quarantine plan and a Covid-19 symptom self-assessment.

The quarantine plan must have details on where you will stay, how you will get there and how you will arrange for safe delivery of essentials such as groceries and medicine. Failure to stick to the plan can lead to six months’ jail time and a CAD$750,000 (US$593,000) fine.

In addition, all arrivals are given a health screening by border officers to check for any symptoms.

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