Airport

Government of Canada introduces new mandatory requirements for travellers to Canada

by Andrew Powell

Travellers to Canada will soon need to provide more information about their stay, and how they will self-isolate for the required 14 days as part of new measures that the Government of Canada introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The new measures take effect on November 21, 2020, and require travellers arriving in Canada to provide “a quarantine plan, contact and travel information, and updates on the possible development of COVID-19 symptoms.”

The app, called ArriveCAN, was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canada Border Services to allow travellers to “easily and securely provide information that is required for entry into Canada.”

While the app has been available since earlier this year, the announcement from the government now requires travellers to provide information before they arrive in Canada. Information from the app can then be shared with provinces and territories for health follow-ups, as required, or law enforcement to ensure travellers are complying with the Mandatory Isolation Order.

Submitting digitally before arrival also helps reduce processing time at the border. Travellers who are only passing through Canada do not need to submit information to ArriveCAN.

“As of November 21, 2020, air travellers, whose final destination is Canada, will be required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before they board their flight,” the release stated. “This includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan (unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order), and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment. Travellers must be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada; a border services officer will verify that they have submitted their information digitally.”

“Travellers 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 $1,000 fine.”

Although the new measures go into effect on November 21, travellers are already being “strongly encouraged” to use ArriveCAN before they fly to Canada.

Within 48 of entering Canada, any travellers arriving by air, land, or marine–unless they’re exempted under certain conditions–“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.”

For travellers who do not use the app to provide updates during the quarantine period, they will be required to call 1-833 641-0343, a toll-free number where they must provide daily updates throughout their quarantine or isolation period.

“Travellers 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.”

For those concerned about personal information, the government also made it clear that the ArriveCAN app does not use GPS or other data or technology to monitor or track travellers.

The ArriveCAN app can be downloaded on Google Play, and the App Store, or travellers can also submit their information on the Government of Canada website.

For more details on the app, visit the Canada.ca/ArriveCAN.

Photo by Suganth on Unsplash

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