Information for Canadians abroadMarch 17, 2020
As you know, due to the rapidly changing circumstances, the Government of Canada is recommending that Canadians presently outside of Canada return as soon as possible. Travellers returning to Canada must self-isolate for 14 days after return. Recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to monitor health for fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing for 14 days after arrival in Canada should be followed.
On Monday March 16, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that no one who is displaying symptoms will be permitted to board a flight to Canada, regardless of their citizenship. In the event the traveller presents COVID-19 symptoms, the airline will be required to refuse to board the passenger for travel for a period of 14 days, or until a medical certificate is presented that confirms the patient does not carry the virus.
If you have not done so already, Canadians abroad should sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration. Please encourage Canadians around you to do the same. This is the best way to stay up-to-date on plans for assistance from the Government of Canada.
Eligible Canadians currently outside Canada and needing help to return home can contact the nearest Government of Canada office or Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The emergency assistance information can also be found here: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-assistance.
The Prime Minister and Minister of Global Affairs have announced the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad, a support program for asymptomatic Canadians who need to get on a plane to return home, which will provide financial assistance to help with the costs of returning home or temporarily covering basic needs while waiting to come back to Canada. Canadians abroad directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 under this program.
In addition, the Government of Canada will provide additional support to Canadians directly affected by COVID-19 and unable to immediately return home, through new partnerships with local and other organizations and will complement existing consular services.
As of March 18, international flights will be permitted to land only at the international airports in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, in order to enhance screening. Travellers will then need to connect to other destinations from there. At this time, Canadian domestic flights, as well as flights coming from the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Saint Pierre et Miquelon will not be affected.
The Government is also barring entry to all travellers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, with limited exceptions for air crew, diplomats, immediate family members of citizens and, for the time being, U.S. citizens. Air operators will be required to complete a basic health assessment of every passenger based on guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The Government of Canada’s travel advice is located here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html.
An information sheet specifically for travellers returning to Canada is here:
Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines. Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected, due to actions by foreign governments or companies. Try to avoid crowds and confined spaces with strangers to the greatest extent possible, and exercise heightened hygiene practices during your travel.
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