Entering Canada? Here’s What You Need to Know

Canada is one of the many countries that is tightening its borders to protect its nation as best as possible from the coronavirus.

Heavy travel restrictions have been placed to limit the spread of this airborne disease. Fortunately, some entry to Canada is allowed, so there is no need to fret if you have to cross the border for a valid reason.

In this post, we’re going to discuss who can enter Canada right now, 14-day quarantine rules, penalties for breaking these rules, symptoms to look for, and what to do if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Who Can Enter Canada?

The only people who are allowed to enter Canada right now are residents, permanent citizens, people protected under the Indian Act, and qualified foreign nationals.

Most people coming through the United States are allowed to enter as long as their travel is deemed essential.

You do not have to worry if you are an immediate family member of a permanent Canadian resident, an international student, a temporary worker, or an accredited diplomat.

Currently, Canada is in talks with some countries for a travel bubble allowing travel for people of all visas being allowed if they are from participating countries but nothing has been confirmed as yet.

Now is not the time to head to Canada for leisure or holiday.

if you are planning on entering Canada it is recommended that you download and fill out the ArriveCAN app available on Apple/Android prior to landing in Canada. This will make the lives of both you and your Canadian border patrol agent easier.

14-Day Quarantine Rules and Restrictions

Medical professionals have found evidence to believe that the incubation period for COVID-19 is about two weeks. This means that it may take 14 days for symptoms to appear to let you know that you’ve been infected by the virus.

Since you can pass the virus to others before you realize you’re sick, it's important to self-isolate for 14-days after possible exposure to the virus.

Canada actually has mandated the 14-day quarantine upon your arrival to the country and may request your quarantine plan as you go through immigration.

The quarantine rules are very straightforward. Here are a few mandatory guidelines to follow:

  • Choose a place to quarantine, and stay there for 14 days.
  • Do not go to school or work.
  • Do not accept visitors.
  • Avoid contact with people who are susceptible to the virus (poor immune system, underlying health conditions, older people).
  • Avoid public areas and gatherings.
  • Familiarize yourself with COVID-19 symptoms and monitor your health accordingly.
  • Have groceries and medicine dropped off where you’re quarantining?

Additionally, you must wear a mask from the time you enter the country until you’ve arrived at your place of quarantine.

Many people are wondering if it is okay to stay with family when arriving in Canada. From a legal standpoint, this answer is not clear. If your family member’s household includes people who are vulnerable to COVID-19, the answer would be no.

However, if you are able to stay in a room that is away from others, there should be no issue.

Again, these are not suggestions. These are absolutely mandatory. You may receive a call from the Government at 1-888-336-7735. They are placing calls to make sure you’re following the proper precautions.

Penalties for Breaking Quarantine Restrictions

Canada is taking the 14-day quarantine rules and travel restrictions very, very seriously. If you are caught breaking these rules, you will face legal consequences.

Some of the penalties are more severe than others. If you break any of the rules listed above, you are breaking the rules set forth by Canada’s Quarantine Act. Punishment for this crime includes 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 worth of fines.

If you knowingly risk the health of others in a fashion that risks death or other serious health issues, you may be subject to 3 years in prison and/or up-to $1 million in fines.

For minor charges related to the Quarantine Act, you may be fined between $275 and $1000.

If keeping others safe does not motivate you to take the proper precautions, surely these possible penalties will.

COVID-19 Symptoms to Watch For

If you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, you should not travel or go to public places other than to seek medical care.

According to official notices from the Canadian government, here are some symptoms you should look out for:

  • Fever (38°C or higher)
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscles and body ache
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste or smell

If you are experiencing these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider to learn what the appropriate next steps are. If you have traveled recently, you should disclose any information regarding your whereabouts.

You will likely be instructed to quarantine for 14 days if your symptoms are mild.

Conclusion

The times we’re living through are truly bizarre. These rules may seem intense, but they are designed to keep travelers and Canadian residents safe from the coronavirus.

As long as we all do our part, we will make it through this. Whether you’re traveling or not, please remember to wear a mask in public and wash your hands regularly.

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

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