COVID-19 travel restrictions: Canada

Travel Restrictions

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This article was published on January 7, 2022, and all the information in the article is correct as of this time. Before you book your trip, we highly recommend that you also check official sources for the most up-to-date travel requirements, as they are subject to constant change.

Can I enter Canada?

Presently, you can enter Canada for tourism provided you are fully vaccinated. Note that unvaccinated travelers can travel to Canada only for essential reasons. Please take your time to learn the COVID-19 restrictions that are in place now.

Before traveling to Canada, you need to install ArriveCAN on your phone or computer. You can upload your proof of vaccination and other essential data for your travel to this application. ArriveCAN is free of charge.

Can I enter Canada if I am vaccinated?

Person holding a mobile phone displaying a digital Covid vaccine certificate — ShutterstockArriveCAN is a mobile phone application initiative in Canada that digitizes all your Covid-related data — Shutterstock

You can enter Canada if you are vaccinated. You are considered fully vaccinated if you have received both doses of vaccine (or one dose in case of a single-dose vaccine) at least 14 days in advance of arriving in Canada.

As of December 2021, the following vaccines are approved in Canada:

  • Moderna (Spikevax)
  • Pfizer (BioNTech Comirnaty)
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

Travel documents if you are vaccinated

If you are vaccinated, present both documents:

  • A vaccination certificate
  • A negative COVID-19 test result (PCR, NAT or LAMP test taken within the 72 hours before the scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada)

Testing requirements do not apply to Canadian citizens, permanent residents and unvaccinated children under 12 accompanied by vaccinated adults.

The vaccination certificate must be in English or French and contain the following data:

  • Your name
  • The name of the government or organization that administered the vaccine(s)
  • The brand name or any other information that identifies the vaccine(s)
  • The date(s) you received the vaccine(s)

The negative COVID-19 test result must include the following data:

  • The traveler’s name and date of birth
  • The name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test
  • The date on which the test was taken
  • The type of test taken
  • The test result

Please note that a result of a rapid antigen test will not be accepted for entering Canada.

Can I enter Canada if I am unvaccinated?

Please be aware that unvaccinated travelers cannot enter Canada for tourism. Unvaccinated foreign nationals are allowed to enter Canada only in particular circumstances. Please check the list of acceptable circumstances at the official Canadian government website.

Travel documents if you are unvaccinated

If your circumstances meet the exceptional requirements, present one of the following documents when traveling to Canada:

  • A negative COVID-19 test result (PCR, NAT, or LAMP test taken within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada)
  • Documentation of recovery from COVID-19 that is no more than 180 days old

Who cannot enter Canada?

Snowy street in Quebec City — ShutterstockA wintry street in Quebec City — Shutterstock

Please note that starting from November 2021, the Canadian government has put restrictions on travelers from certain African countries due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Regardless of their vaccination status, foreign nationals who have visited one of the following countries within the 14 days before intended arrival are prohibited from entering Canada:

  • Botswana
  • Egypt
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

Can I leave Canada?

You can leave Canada. Check our guide to a few of the best deals and last-minute escapes.

Can I leave Canada if I am vaccinated?

Vaccinated travelers can leave Canada.

Travel documents if you are vaccinated

Vaccinated travelers must carry their vaccination certificate when leaving Canada. A negative COVID-19 test result is optional, depending on your destination country. Please take some time to learn about the entry requirements of your destination country in advance.

Can I leave Canada if I am unvaccinated?

Unvaccinated travelers can leave Canada.

Travel documents if you are unvaccinated

If you are unvaccinated, please present one of the following documents:

  • Documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (no more than 180 days old before the day of crossing the border)
  • A negative COVID-19 test result (the relevant period and kind of test may vary; please check the requirements of your destination country)

Traveling from Canada to “green,” “orange,” and “red” countries

Currently, the Canadian government does not divide countries into such color categories. Due to the COVID-19 situation in the world, the Ministry of Health advises people to avoid unessential travel to most countries. The complete list is constantly updated.

In addition, it is strongly advised not to travel to the following countries due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19:

  • Botswana
  • Egypt
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter Canada within 14 days of being in these countries.

COVID-19 situation in Canada currently

Man wearing a surgical mask sat in an airport terminal — ShutterstockMost of the population are fully vaccinated, but you should still be Covid-aware when traveling to Canada — Shutterstock

Canada is in the midst of a nationwide COVID-19 vaccine program. More than 80% of the total population has been fully vaccinated.

FAQs

Is it safe to travel to Canada right now?

As of December 2021, your travel to Canada will be safe if you follow local COVID-19 preventative measures:
  • Masks are mandatory indoors
  • Most big cities require vaccination certificates for entry into non-essential public places

Is Ottawa open for travel?

International travel to Ottawa is possible. Nevertheless, you should follow the local measures above while you are there.

Do I have to be quarantined if I go to Canada?

If you are fully vaccinated, you won’t have to go into quarantine. However, all unvaccinated travelers are obliged to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.

How do I get a health pass to travel to Canada?

Regardless of your origin, we highly recommend that you install ArriveCAN in advance of traveling to Canada. This application digitizes your vaccination status, recovery documentation, COVID-19 test results, quarantine plan and other essential data.

Useful links:

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