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Canada Will Be Reopening To Select International Travelers on October 8th

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The government of Canada has announced it will officially be reopening its borders to select international travelers as of October 8th, 2020.

Travelers that fall into certain categories will be able to enter Canada as long as they follow all health protocols. 

The announcement came Friday October 2nd, 2020 by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Health Minister Patty Hajdu.

Travelers That Will Be Permitted To Enter Canada

Under the new travel restrictions that start October 8th, Canada will now permit the following travelers to enter the country: 

  • Extended family members traveling to Canada on compassionate grounds
  • Partners who have been dating a Canadian for at least 1 year and their dependent children, adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents 
  • Non-relative foreign nationals under compassionate reasons in specific circumstances, such as a close friend experiencing a life-threatening illness, critical injury or death, with the potential for limited release from quarantine to visit the injured or dying loved one.
  • Starting October 20th,  international students who are attending a learning institution that has a COVID-19 readiness plan in place that's been cleared by provincial or territorial health authorities

More information from the Canadian Government will be released next week and we will update the information here. 

Canada will not open be open for tourism, recreational or leisure travel. 

Canadian Airport

Countries That Will Be Permitted To Enter Canada

The Canadian government did not specify if all countries will be permitted but according to the announcement, international travelers that meet regular visa requirements will be able to apply for the new health travel authorization. If their application is approved, they will be permitted to travel to Canada. The online health authorization application is expected to launch next week. 

At Toronto Pearson International Airport, a commercial, Air Canada jet is being loaded and prepped for departure.

Quarantine Requirements For Travelers Entering Canada

All travelers will be required to self quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Canada and must commit to a minimum of 15 days in the country. 

Under certain circumstances such as visiting a dying loved one, travelers may be permitted to end quarantine early. 

“These situations could include being with someone you love to say goodbye at the end of their lives, or attending a funeral, or end of life ceremony. The decision to allow someone to end their quarantine early will be coordinated with the provincial or territorial government,” Hajdu said.

Canada customs and border agency

Quarantine Enforcement Upon Arrival In Canada

Canada will be increasing its enforcement of quarantine measures which already have very strict penalties in place if a traveler is caught violating self-quarantine.

Fines can be issued up to $750,000 and even jail time for those that refuse to follow quarantine orders. 

The Canadian Government will also be hiring 190 public health officers that will be checking in with travelers that are under self-quarantine orders. The Public Health Agency of Canada is also adding more employees to its call center to check in on those who are in quarantine. 

air canada engine in the air

COVID-19 Testing Upon Arrival In Canada

There was not mention of any mandatory COVID-19 tests for travelers prior to or at arrival in Canada. A mandatory 14 day quarantine is in effect. 

Travel Insurance Requirements

There has been no mandate announced that requires visitors to have insurance but with very expensive health care costs in Canada, its highly recommended all incoming travelers have travel insurance that covers COVID-19.

Traveler grabs her luggage wearing a mask in the international terminal of the airport

Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau said the federal government's top priority remains keeping Canadians safe.

“From the very beginning, our priority has been quite simple: Making sure that Canadians are protected from COVID-19 and that has meant taking strong actions at the border and continually looking how we can improve our actions to prevent importation of COVID-19,” Trudeau said.

Canada airport

Sources: CTV

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Wednesday 7th of October 2020

I am trying to learn whether these new regulations are reciprocal. Though less discussed, the US land borders have also been fully closed since March. There is no information on the Homeland Security Website reflecting that they are altering their policy in tandem with Canada & no announcement has been made that I can find. Will the US borders now be open to Canadians traveling on compassionate grounds? We have a dear friend here who is Canadian & just diagnosed with stage IV cancer. His family would like to be with him, but we cannot get any up to date information. Grateful for any insight on policy or where to go for guidance.

Kashlee Kucheran

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Hello Lizzie - We don't have any information about land border exceptions being made the other way around, but as a Canadian you are welcome to fly into the USA


Tuesday 6th of October 2020

Ridiculous! Open the border and let herd immunity do its thing!! The weakest ones stay home or mask up and social distance. Keeping us from visiting our loved ones because we can't afford a 15 day "vacation" is cruel!!

Todd J. Jumpert

Saturday 3rd of October 2020

Have girlfriend in Canada have not been able to see in 7 months :( I only like 45 minutes away . I have been tested for covid 3 times. All the border towns are covid free. Just open them already.


Friday 2nd of October 2020

As a US Citizen I was supporting all the decisions made by Canadian Government regarding Covid travel restrictions, and I was blaming US Government for not doing the same... BUT... this is ridiculous! Open your borders! There are countries opened their borders back in July letting all tourists in with negative Covid test evidence and they are still looking good. Take a look at Croatia... I was in Detroit last month looking at Windsor across the river: nothing but sad emotions. Open it up, believe, Americans won't run into your country, there is no need for that, unless for those who missed their closed ones. Sorry but this makes me sick!