COVID-19 is affecting global air travel with advisories and restrictions now in place. All travellers returning from international locations are mandated to self-isolate for 14 days.
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COVID-19: What you should know

We know this is a difficult time for passengers, with advisories and restrictions affecting global air traffic. As always, the safety of our passengers and employees is our top priority. We’re working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), who is leading Canada’s public health response to COVID-19, and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the agency responsible for facilitating the flow of legitimate travellers and trade into and out of Canada, to ensure that all of our arriving international passengers are safely and effectively screened. 

Important information for travellers

Mandatory self-isolation for international passengers

As of March 26, any person entering Canada by air, sea or land is mandated to self-isolate for 14 days as part of an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act introduced by the Government of Canada.

For passengers without symptoms of COVID-19, this means: 

  • go directly to your place of quarantine, without delay, and stay there for 14 days 
  • do not go to school, work, other public areas and community settings 
  • monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 
  • arrange to have someone pick up essentials like groceries or medication for you 
  • do not have visitors 
  • stay in a private place like your yard or balcony if you go outside for fresh air 
  • keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others 

For passengers who do have symptoms of COVID-19, additional measures need to be taken. These include:

  • go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle
  • stay INSIDE your home
  • do not leave your place of isolation unless it is to seek medical attention
  • do not use public transportation such as buses and taxis
  • stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible
  • do not have visitors and limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children
  • do not isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable people, such as older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions
  • if your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions 

If you have symptoms but do not have a place to isolate, you will be required to isolate for 14 days in a facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.  Violating these instructions after entering Canada could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. 

For information on how to self-isolate, you can visit our Advice for Returning Travellers page

Travel advisories for Canadians 

Global Affairs Canada is advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. They warn that passengers may have difficulty returning or may be unable to return to Canada. 

For more information, visit Global Affairs’ travel advisory page

Restricted travel measures

Canada-U.S. restriction for non-essential travel

As of March 21, 2020, a temporary 30-day restriction on all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border has been implemented.

International flights to Canada

All international passenger flight arrivals have been redirected to four airports:

  • Toronto-Pearson International Airport
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport
  • Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

Canadians and permanent residents presenting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may still enter Canada by land, rail and marine, but not via air, in order to ensure the health of all travellers.

To help Canadians return home or cope with challenges they are facing while travelling, the Government of Canada has created the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.

What passengers can do

Everyone can do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you’re returning to Canada from abroad, visit our Advice for Returning Travellers page for details on how you can stay safe.

While in the airport, passengers should also keep a safe distance between people around them. This includes leaving extra space in customs lines, when lining up to board planes and when picking up baggage.

What we’re doing

We’ve added or enhanced cleaning procedures and will continue to evolve these processes as needed. These include:

  • Additional cleaning staff hours
  • Additional hand sanitizer stations at key terminal locations, access points and other heavily travelled areas
  • Use of disinfectant wipes and solutions for escalator, moving sidewalk, stairwell and baggage cart handrails and handles
  • Regular disinfecting of all hard surfaces
  • Enhanced disinfection of terminal washrooms 
  • Regular disinfection of passenger processing kiosks 

We’re also working to promote physical distancing by holding arriving flights on the tarmac or at the gate to manage the flow of passengers in the airport. Signage and in-terminal announcements are reminding passengers to maintain physical distancing when in the customs hall and other areas of the airport.   

Useful links

As the lead agency responsible for the response to COVID-19, PHAC is your best resource for the most up to date information on COVID-19.

Please consult the destination page on travel.gc.ca for the latest travel advice.

Stay in the know by following PHAC’s twitter feed.