21 April 2020 – Message sent to Canadians registered on the Registry of Canadians Abroad (ROCA)
We are contacting you to provide important information about new requirements for people travelling to Canada.
The health and safety of Canadians is the top priority of the Government of Canada. These new requirements for travellers are part of our multifaceted national response to COVID-19. As we learn more about this illness, we are regularly updating our public health guidelines and border measures.
Please be aware of the following requirements if you intend to travel to Canada.
Requirement to wear a non-medical mask or face covering
As of 20 April 2020, and until further notice, all air passengers are required to have a non-medical mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose during travel. Passengers on all flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports will be required to present their non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process. Passengers who fail to do so will be denied boarding.
Undertake mandatory isolation or quarantine
The Emergency Order issued by the Government of Canada under the Quarantine Act requires persons entering Canada—whether by air, land or sea—to isolate for 14 days if presenting symptoms of COVID-19, or to quarantine for 14 days if asymptomatic to limit the spread of COVID-19.
*If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you may not enter Canada by air.
The recent update to the Emergency Order now states that any person arriving in Canada—whether symptomatic or asymptomatic—cannot isolate or quarantine in a place where they would be in contact with people who are vulnerable, such as adults aged 65 years or over and people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Demonstrate suitable isolation or quarantine arrangements
Upon arrival to Canada, you will need to confirm you have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine. At this place, you must have access to basic necessities, such as food and medication, and must not be in contact with vulnerable people.
*Travellers will be expected to make plans in advance of arriving to Canada.
What is the difference between isolating and quarantine?
Helpful information and fact sheets on the requirements of mandatory isolating (travellers presenting symptoms) or mandatory quarantining (travellers without symptoms) are found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html
Please contact the Public Health Agency of Canada if you have questions on the quarantine measures: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/media-room/media-relations.html
Compliance and enforcement
The Government of Canada is working proactively with federal and provincial partners to ensure compliance and enforcement of the Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act. Fines and imprisonment could be enforced.
For more information on the current travel requirements and restrictions, please visit:
Canada’s borders: Are you eligible to enter Canada?
Travel restrictions are currently in place that limit travel to Canada. To ensure you are eligible to enter Canada, please review information here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/travel-restrictions-exemptions.html
Travel, transit, and keeping up-to-date
Due to the temporary grounding of direct flights, travelling back to Canada from Australia and the Pacific Island region will require you to transit through another country. Prior to making travel arrangements, we strongly advise you to review transit restrictions that could impact your ability to return to Canada on non-direct flight routes.
If you make arrangements to travel, please stay up to date with the latest transit restrictions and monitor the status of your flights closely (both domestic and international). As the COVID-19 situation continues to escalate around the world, further limitations or suspensions of international commercial flights should be expected. If you experience any changes to your flights, please contact your airline directly.
If you hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency, please be aware of restrictions on leaving Australia: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/leaving-australia
If you must travel, please visit the Government of Canada’s travel advice and advisories page regularly to check safety and security recommendations. More information: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories and https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/covid-19-security
*Please note: No government-sponsored repatriation flights are being organized for Canadians to depart Australia.
If you are unable to return to Canada or have chosen to stay in your current location:
Take precautions against COVID-19.
See the following sources of information from the Government of Canada:
If you are currently located in Australia, please monitor Australian Government sources of information and local media:
Have you checked your travel insurance?
Choosing to stay abroad could change or complicate your travel health insurance coverage. Check with your travel insurance provider directly to confirm that your policy has sufficient coverage, including for COVID-19 and an extended stay abroad.
Do you need financial assistance to return to Canada?
If you are eligible, are outside Canada and are directly impacted by COVID-19, you can apply for the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. This is an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help you return to Canada and to cover your short-term needs while you work toward returning. Contact our consular team to apply (see details below). For information, visit: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-info/financial-assistance/covid-19-financial-help-faqs
Do you need consular assistance?
Should you require consular assistance please contact the nearest office of the Government of Canada. We kindly request you contact us by phone or email in the first instance with respect to the guidance of local health authorities and to protect the health and safety of staff and visitors. https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates
Within Australia, please contact:
The Consulate General of Canada in Sydney
- firstname.lastname@example.org (if you are located in NSW, QLD, and NT)
- +61 (0)2 9364 3000
The High Commission of Canada in Canberra
- email@example.com (if you are located in ACT, WA, VIC, SA, TAS)
- +61 (0)2 6270 4000
Outside of business hours, contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre at Global Affairs Canada headquarters (24 hours a day, seven days a week) by calling +1 613 996 8885, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada Down Under Team
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