Prime Minister Trudeau announced new legal requirements for entry into Canada in an effort to further curb the spread of COVID-19 and protect Canadians.
Cancellation of Flights
As of January 31, 2021, Canadian airlines have agreed to cancel all flights to the Caribbean and Mexico. The suspension of service to "sun destinations" will remain in effect until April 30, 2021. The airlines will make arrangements with customers currently in those regions to ensure they can return home. Starting February 3, 2021, only airports in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal will accept international flights for the foreseeable future. It was noted that this restriction on international entry should not negatively impact the ability for goods or vaccines to enter Canada.
New Quarantine Requirements
Moving forward, incoming international travellers will be required to quarantine in government-approved hotels for a minimum of three days following a mandatory COVID-19 test taken upon arrival into Canada. Those who test negative will be permitted to carry out the remainder of their 14-day quarantine at their home or other specified location. In the event a traveller tests positive, they will be required to stay in the same hotel until they recover at their own expense.
The implementation date of these new quarantine requirements has not yet been determined but is expected in the coming weeks. Furthermore, additional COVID-19 testing requirements will likely soon be required for those travelling into Canada via land borders.
Details from the government of Canada website can be found here.
What does this mean?
While it has been made clear this is not the time for personal travel, many businesses still require their employees or contractors to travel internationally. These new requirements need to be considered on top of the previously announced restrictions and applicable exemptions. More than ever, the legal requirements surrounding travel constraints should be at the forefront of any traveller's mind. Businesses with US and Canadian operations will now be required to re-evaluate current and future business needs while making arrangements to ensure personnel have the ability to effectively carry out their job duties.
Field Law's Immigration and Cross-Border Services teams can identify potential travel exemptions, assist with ever-evolving entry requirements, and provide guidance on all aspects of cross-border business operations to facilitate business goals.
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