Travelling Canada During Covid-19: National and Provincial Restrictions

Disclaimer: The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing and although we work our hardest to provide readers with relevant information, we can't fit everything into one article! We recommend that our readers always check with the advice of professional health departments in their hometown and the area they plan to travel to, before making any travel plans. This article was last updated on July 13th 2020.

With the current outbreak of COVID-19, restrictions in Canada have made it difficult to do any long-distance travelling. Luckily, no matter where you live, Canada has plenty to offer close to home.

Many people are considering using this time to explore what lies in their own backyard this summer and we absolutely support this notion! However, it's important to be aware of the constantly changing situation regarding the pandemic, if you intend to remain safe and protect others throughout your travels.

Whether you're travelling within your province or hoping to travel interprovincially, these updates will help you understand the current requirements as you plan your adventures!

Air Travel requirements and regulations for Canada

International Travel Restrictions

As of March 13, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada advised Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada. This is because of the worldwide pandemic and the rapidly evolving situation globally. They also recommend that people self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to Canada.

This information is not new. If it is not essential, please do not travel internationally!

Domestic Travel within Canada

For all domestic flights, the Government of Canada has applied measures that are similar to the international and cross-border requirements facing foreign nationals. These measures are as follows:

Conducting health checks of all travellers before boarding, based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada. This includes being asked a series of questions regarding any potential COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days and having your temperature checked prior to boarding.

Airlines will deny boarding for symptomatic passengers, or passengers who have been refused boarding in the past 14 days, due to a medical reason related to COVID-19 virus.

Airlines will notify travellers that they may be subject to measures by the provincial or territorial government such as self-isolation requirements upon arrival to limit the spread of COVID-19. Provincial requirements will be discussed in the following section.

All passengers must wear masks while boarding the aircraft and for the duration of their flight. Many aircraft companies are currently providing sanitary packages during the boarding process including additional face masks, hand sanitizers, and sanitizing wipes. However, it is encouraged that travellers plan ahead and have access to these supplies prior to boarding.

In addition, many aircrafts are leaving the middle seats empty to allow for physical distance throughout flights.

Restrictions are also in place on International Air Travel (including US citizens) Only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and certain foreign nationals travelling for essential purposes are able to enter Canada by air at this time.

Non-essential travel (including tourism) is not allowed. As such, passengers must be advised that, even if they are allowed to board the aircraft to Canada, they may be prohibited from entering Canada upon arrival.

There continues to be a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for all travellers arriving in Canada. The only exception is for certain essential workers.

Additional Information:

Provincial and Territorial COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Now that we’ve looked at some of the travel restrictions that the Canadian federal government has in place, we’re going to dig a little deeper into the provincial recommendations for travel.

British Columbia Travel Restrictions

British Columbia Flag

B.C. is ahead of most provinces when it comes to reopening travel. Its borders are opened to visitors from out of the province, who are asked to abide by the same safety precautions as B.C. residents.

Most provincial campgrounds, nature trails, recreational sites, hotels and resorts have opened. However, many have restrictions in place, such as only being open to B.C. residents or a lowered operating capacity.

Although travel within the province is allowed, health officials have encouraged B.C. residents to only travel when necessary. They recommend that people explore everything their hometowns have to offer instead of travelling to other cities.

Finally, if you need to take a ferry somewhere, be sure to check your route ahead of time. Many ferries are operating on reduced schedules due to COVID-19.

Additional Information:

Alberta Travel Restrictions

Alberta Flag

Alberta is another province that has recently begun lifting travel restrictions, especially for its residents.

Travel is allowed within the province. However, it’s recommended that residents avoid leaving the province if possible, for the time being.

In order to encourage residents to explore everything that their province has to offer many amenities such as hotels, campgrounds, national parks and provincial parks have opened with restrictions in place.

While travelling in Alberta, people are asked to abide by safety guidelines and download the province’s mobile contact tracing app.

Additional Information:

Saskatchewan Travel Restrictions

Saskatchewan Flag

Residents of Saskatchewan are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel outside of the province amidst COVID-19. However, self-isolation is not required if you return from travelling out of the province.

Most of the province is open for travel but not everywhere. There is a greater risk of COVID-19 activity in areas of the northwest region of Saskatchewan. So, restrictions remain in place for certain areas and health officials caution against travel between northwest Saskatchewan and northern Alberta.