Canada’s Border Entry Mandates Go Digital
The Public Health Agency of Canada based in Ottawa announced as part of Canada’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all travelers will soon be required to provide specific information in digital format upon and after entry into Canada.
This new requirement issued on November 2, 2020, includes providing a quarantine plan, personal contact, and travel information to the Government of Canada.
As of November 21, 2020, all air travelers whose final destination is Canada will be required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before departing on their flight. This information includes personal information, quarantine plan (unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order), and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.
But, Canada states it ‘does not use any technology or data, such as GPS, to monitor or track traveler movements to protect a person’s privacy.’
Furthermore, travelers must be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada. Upon arrival, a border services officer will verify that they have submitted their information digitally. Travelers who do not submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to a $1,000 fine.
Exceptions will be made for those unable to submit documents electronically due to personal circumstances, such as a disability or inadequate infrastructure.
However, starting immediately, travelers entering Canada by land or marine modes are strongly encouraged to use ArriveCAN by downloading the mobile app or signing in online to provide the mandatory information before they arrive to avoid additional delays for public health questioning and to limit points of contact at the border.
And as of November 21, 2020, travelers who enter Canada by air, land, or marine modes, unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order, will also be required to submit information through ArriveCAN or by calling the 1-833-641-0343 toll-free number during their quarantine or isolation period.
Within 48 hours of entering Canada, travelers must confirm they have arrived at their place of quarantine or isolation and those in quarantine must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during their quarantine period.
Travelers who don’t use ArriveCAN to submit their information before entering Canada will be required to call the 1-833-641-0343 toll-free number on a daily basis throughout their quarantine or isolation period to provide their post-border information. They will not be able to revert to using ArriveCAN, said the government’s statement.
Moreover, travelers who do not submit the mandatory information required after they have crossed the border will be considered a high priority for follow-up by law enforcement.
The Canadian government added ‘submitting information digitally in all modes of travel will also help travelers reduce their processing time at the border as well as limit physical contact between travelers and border services officers and Public Health Agency of Canada officers.
The ArriveCAN app is available for download on Google Play for Android or through the App Store for iOS. Or prospective travelers can also submit their information by signing in online.
- In-transit passengers whose final destination is not Canada do not need to submit their information through ArriveCAN.
- Canada's official global travel advisory, cruise ship advisory and pandemic COVID-19 travel health notices are still in effect.
Previously, the U.S. and Canadian governments have agreed to extend cross-border travel restrictions to non-essential travel through November 21, 2020.
Since August 6, 2020, the US Department of State has issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory, Reconsider travel to Canada, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, issued a statement on November 1, 2020: “As the resurgence of COVID-19 activity continues in Canada, we are tracking a range of epidemiological indicators to monitor where the disease is most active."
"Provincial and territorial data, indicate that an average of 1,107 people with COVID-19 were being treated in hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (Oct 23-29), stated Dr. Tam.
Specifically, the majority of the new COVID-19 cases in Canada can be traced back to just four regions in Ontario: Toronto, Peel Region, Ottawa, and York Region.
Additionally, the U.S. CDC stated on September 2, 2020, to ‘make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include Chickenpox, DTP, influenza, MMR, and Polio.’
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