Entering Canada by Air
The Canadian Government has put in place a series of rules for returning Canadians and foreign visitors.
10 airports currently accept international arrivals on a regular basis
Quebec City Intl
Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Intl
Toronto Pearson Intl
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
Below is a summary of the current process to enter Canada. Full details are available here.
8 additional airports will reopen to commercial flights on November 30, 2021
St. John’s Intl
John C. Munro Hamilton Intl
Region of Waterloo Intl
Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker Intl
1. Use ArriveCan to register your arrival in Canada
2. Take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure
3. Follow Canada Customs instructions upon arrival- Additional random COVID screening may be conducted
Use ArriveCAN to pre-register your arrival in Canada, uploading all required information
See below for tips-Supply proof of a negative PCR or RT-LAMP test result taken within 72 hours of departure (all travelers)
Fully vaccinated asymptomatic travelers that meet eligibility requirements for entry to Canada will be exempt from quarantine on arrival
Follow Canada Customs procedures on arrival- Random COVID-19 screening may be conducted
Follow provincial and territorial public health measures
Full eligible travelers: Follow Canada Border Services Agency/ ArriveCan instructions and be prepared to quarantine if you are deemed non-exempt.
Canadian Citizens who are not fully must detail their quarantine plan in ArriveCAN. After arrival proceed to your pre-arranged quarantine location and be prepared to remain there for 14 days. A COVID-19 re-test on arrival is required if you are not fully vaccinated.
“Fully vaccinated” means you have waited the requisite 14 days since your second dose, and have received a vaccine cleared for use in Canada (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson) A negative PCR or RT-LAMP test result is required for entry into Canada. Antigen test results (e.g. “rapid tests”) are not acceptable for entry to Canada.
USING ARRIVECAN FOR A PRIVATE CHARTER FLIGHT
ArriveCAN, a service of the government of Canada, is required in order to submit your information prior to arrival in Canada. ArriveCAN is available to download as a mobile app or you can create an account and sign in online.
You will be asked to detail your arrival in Canada, providing flight information, COVID-19 test results, proof of vaccination, and other information.
When submitting your private flight information through ArriveCAN:
Select “Other” in lieu of the “Airline” name
Enter the name of the aircraft operator under “Other airline”
Enter the aircraft tail number in lieu of the “flight number”
Domestic, Trans-Border, and International Air Travel
All air travellers who are 12 years and 4 months of age or older flying on a domestic, transborder or international commercial flight, which includes private air charters*, and departing from most major Canadian airports, are now required to be fully vaccinated.
MANDATORY VACCINATION FOR AIR TRAVEL
According to Transport Canada, to qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller within or from Canada, you must have received:
the full series of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine, or an acceptable combination of; and
your last dose at least 14 full days prior to the day you travel.
Providing proof of vaccination
Travellers can use a proof of vaccination credential issued by their province or territory, or from their country of vaccination so long as it is a Government of Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
The Government of Canada has stated that limited exceptions will be in place for travellers who are unable to be vaccinated, for medical and religious reasons. Travellers will be required to provide evidence and documentation supporting this.
Transition period, October 30-November 29, 2021
During the transition period travellers will be able to board with a valid negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-LAMP test result taken within 72 hours of travel. On November 30th, all travellers must be fully vaccinated.
The Government of Canada has stated that unvaccinated travellers 12 years and 4 months or older travelling between October 30th and November 29th will be required to have either proof of a valid negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-LAMP test result taken within 72 hours of travel, or proof of a positive test result taken at least 14 and not more than 180 days before departure.
Starting November 30th, all travellers will need to be vaccinated unless they meet one of the exemptions. More specific details will be published by the Government of Canada.
Unvaccinated foreign nationals will, up until February 28th, 2022, be able show a valid negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-LAMP test result within 72 hours of travel as an alternative to providing proof of vaccination in order to depart Canada only. Consult the “Testing alternative to the vaccination requirement” on the Government of Canada’s Boarding flights and trains in Canada page.
*What is a private flight vs a private air charter?
Some references made by the media refer to private flights as being exempted. A “private flight” can be an aircraft that is privately owned and not carrying passengers for hire. A private air charter on the other hand is any flight that is hired for commercial purposes**. Private air charters are classified as commercial flights and are therefore not exempt from the vaccination rules summarized above. More information here.
**Private air charters are commercial flights that operate under Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR) 701, 703, 704, and 705.
Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is for informational purposes only and does not in any way supersede official Government of Canada guidance and procedures. Information on this page is subject to change without notice. Links to official Government of Canada materials are provided in this article.