News for Canadian travellers and their families.
The Prime Minister has announced that, beginning March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada will impose restrictions for air travel specifically:
• Bar foreign nationals from all countries except the United States from entering Canada. The measure would not apply to air crews, travelers arriving in Canada in transit to a third country, Canadian permanent residents, diplomats, or immediate family members of Canadian citizens.
• Redirect international passenger flight arrivals to four airports: Toronto Pearson International Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, and Calgary International Airport. At this time, this measure will not affect domestic flights or flights from the United States, sun destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean, or St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, stronger and more visible messaging, health screening at kiosks, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-traffic areas and facilities at airports.
In addition, airlines will prevent all travelers who present COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of their citizenship, from boarding international flights to Canada. Airlines will conduct a basic health assessment of all air travelers based on guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Global Affairs Canada has provided the following guidance to travelers:
• We urge that Canadians abroad return to Canada by commercial means while they are still available.
• Some countries have put measures in place such as closing land borders and in some cases shutting down their airspace. Such measures might prevent some Canadians from leaving the country in which they are located. If this is the case, we strongly recommend that you follow the advice of local authorities for your health and safety.
• The Government has also created a COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad, which will provide up to $5,000 to Canadians in need of immediate financial assistance to help them return home or to temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return. For more information, you can contact the 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where possible) or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
• Please note that at this time, there are no other plans to repatriate Canadians abroad using charter flights.
• We continue to encourage Canadians outside of the country to register in the Registry of Canadians Abroad to receive important updates (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration) and that they check the entry and exit requirements of the countries through which they may be transiting.
I will share more information as it becomes available. Hopefully this information proves helpful.