Travel Restrictions During COVID-19
February 10, 2021
COVID-19: Travel, testing, quarantine and borders
Planning your entry to Canada
Testing and quarantine requirements
Leaving and while outside Canada
Other COVID-19 impacts on travel
COVID-19: Your safety and security outside Canada
Risks of travelling outside Canada
If you must travel outside Canada, follow our official travel advice to stay safe and secure. Staying in Canada will help to protect you, your family and those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 in our communities.
More information below on the following issues:
If your travel is essential or you're already outside Canada
If you must travel or you're already outside Canada, risks, restrictions and disruptions could affect your travel plans.
- You may have difficulty returning to Canada or may have to remain outside Canada for an unknown length of time.
- Foreign governments continue to implement strict travel regulations, sometimes without notice.
- There are fewer international transportation options and they could be reduced at any time.
- There will be no more repatriation flights.
- You may have problems obtaining essential products and services.
- You may have limited access to timely and appropriate health care.
- You may suddenly face strict movement restrictions and quarantines at designated facilities at your expense.
- Your travel insurance may not cover some COVID-19 related expenses, and your insurer may limit the options to extend your policy after you depart.
- We may be able to provide only limited consular services.
How to reduce travel disruptions
At your destination
- Check your destination's Travel Advice and Advisories regularly.
- Check your destination's quarantine requirements.
- Monitor local media to stay informed of the situation.
- Follow the advice of local authorities, including public health advice, such as wearing a face covering in public and lockdown or shelter-in-place guidance.
- Make sure you have enough money, medication, food and water in case you can't leave your home or accommodations due to movement restrictions.
- Keep important documents in a safe, but easy to access, place.
- Make sure your passport is valid for at least another 6 months. If you need to renew it, call the closest Government of Canada office serving your location. If the office is closed, your call will be transferred to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa. The centre operates 24/7 and may be reached directly at +1 613 996 8885 (call collect where available) or [email protected].
- Check with your travel insurance provider to find out if you are covered for medical treatment if you become infected with COVID-19.
Staying connected to Canada
- Contact your family and friends as soon as you can, even if you have not been affected, and continue to update them on your situation until you return to Canada.
- Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service. Make sure your contact information is complete and up to date. This will allow consular officials to contact you, provide updates and confirm your situation.
- Make sure you have a local SIM card and charger for your mobile phone.
Your health and travel during the pandemic
Before you travel
During your travel
If you are abroad and you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19:
- Follow the advice and instructions of local public health authorities.
- Seek medical attention if required.
- Contact the closest Government of Canada office if you require consular help.
- Check the list of COVID-19 symptoms for more information.
COVID-19 vaccines outside Canada
If you are outside Canada and have questions regarding the availability and access to a COVID-19 vaccine, you should:
- Consult local medical authorities for information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Stay up to date with the most recent COVID-19 advice from the government of the country where you are located.
- Contact your health insurance provider to obtain further information on reimbursement of a vaccine obtained while outside Canada.
Canadian government offices abroad do not provide medical services (including vaccination) or cover medical expenses for Canadian citizens outside of Canada. For information on vaccines for COVID-19 in Canada, see the Vaccines for COVID-19 page,
Your mental health
If you are not able to return to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may feel stressed, overwhelmed and anxious. You may be uncomfortable or distressed because you are in an unfamiliar environment away from home. You may have concerns about risks associated with the pandemic or about the challenges of managing day to day while under lockdown in a foreign country.
If you need psychological support while abroad, contact the local emergency services and go to the nearest hospital. The nearest Government of Canada office or the Emergency Watch and Response Centre can help you find them.
Risks to your mental health abroad
Be aware of the mental health risks arising from the current situation. Many factors can affect your mental well-being, including:
- disrupted routines
- isolation or lack of social support
- unfamiliar surroundings
- use of drugs and alcohol
- decrease in physical activity
Recognize the symptoms
It is important to pay attention to changes in your mental health. For more information see Taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you believe your mental health is deteriorating, seek help and advice as soon as possible. Canada’s newly created Wellness Together Canada: Mental health and substance use support portal may help connect you with options for online support.
Keep in touch
Stay in contact with your family and friends in Canada through emails, letters, phone calls, video chats or social media. Tell them about your experiences and keep them up to date on your whereabouts and any changes to your travel plans.
Find out about local mental health services and how to find local medical facilities. The health care system and the attitude toward mental health in other countries can be very different than those in Canada.
If you have a mental health condition
- Contact your health care provider in Canada to discuss how to manage your condition while you are abroad.
- Discuss your treatment plan, and any changes to your treatment plan, with your health care provider.
- Be aware that some medication that is easy to find in Canada may not be available everywhere and that there may be issues with supply in some locations. If you are unable to refill your prescription where you are, contact your health care provider to discuss your options.
- Ask your health care provider to send you a note detailing your condition and any medication that you are taking. The note may be useful if you need to consult a health care provider or refill your prescription while you are abroad.
- Take steps to maintain positive mental health to the best of your ability (see above).
If you need help
The nearest Government of Canada office abroad or the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, can:
- give you contact information for medical services in the area
- help you find professionals who can help you in case of a medical emergency
- help you communicate with your relatives and friends
Help for Canadians outside Canada
In case of emergency, call the closest Government of Canada office serving your location. If the office is closed, your call will be transferred to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa. The centre operates 24/7 and may be reached directly at +1 613 996 8885 (call collect where available) or [email protected]
If you are outside the country and are directly impacted by COVID-19, you might be eligible to apply for the Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad to help you return to Canada and to cover your short-term needs while you work toward returning.
Each application is assessed according to your specific situation and needs.
Requirements for returning to Canada
New requirements for travel to Canada
New rules for international flights, COVID-19 testing and quarantine will take effect soon. See the news release for details.
All travelers five years of age or older, regardless of citizenship, must provide the airline with proof of a negative laboratory test result for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to Canada:
- the test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular test such as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP)
- the test must be conducted no more than 72 hours (3 days) before the traveler's scheduled departure to Canada
If you are returning to Canada by plane and soon by land, you must demonstrate that you have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process, or you will not be allowed to continue on your journey. You must wear it while you travel.
If you plan to return to Canada, make sure you check the federal and provincial public health authorities' travel requirements. They may include, but are not limited to:
- quarantining (self-isolating) for 14 days in a place where you will have no contact with vulnerable people
- wearing a non-medical mask or face covering while travelling to the place where you will quarantine (self-isolate)
Check Travel and COVID-19: Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice for complete information on all requirements for returning travelers.