Immigration Update: Restrictions on Air and Land Travel – Still More Questions than Answers (February 12, 2021 at 4 p.m. EDT)

CILF is here to support you with respect to all of your immigration needs with information to keep you informed. Our firm is always available to focus on your immigration needs.
Since the additional restrictions on travel into Canada by air and land were announced on January 29, 2021, there have been some changes. Below are reminders as to what was already in place and what is new:
  • Canadian airlines have suspended service to Mexico and Caribbean destinations until April 30. Non-Canadian airlines are still flying to Canada from these destinations, however, all international flights are now landing at one of four airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
  • The quarantine hotel selection process ended on February 10 at 11:59 p.m. The government is reviewing the submissions and will post the list of approved hotels. The following issues are still unconfirmed:
    • Who is exempt (it has been reported that Olympic athletes will be among those exempt).
    • Whether eligibility for an exemption will be based on what the traveller is intending to do in Canada or what the traveller was doing outside Canada.
    • For those who are permitted to complete the remainder of the 14-day quarantine at home after the three-day stay in the designated hotel, what the “increased scrutiny” during the latter period will be.
    • The exact cost of the hotel quarantine and how it will be calculated.
    • Who is eligible for a full or partial fee waiver.
    • Whether those entering by land will be subject to hotel quarantine. It has been reported that the government does not currently intend to extend this to land travel, however, this has not been confirmed. The hotel selection process indicated that participating hotels must be within 10 km of one of the four international airports accepting international flights, so this suggests, but does not confirm, that land travellers are not included for now.
  • Effective Monday, February 15, 2021, proof of a negative COVID test result for a sample collected no more than 72 hours before arrival will be required at the land border. The following issues are still unconfirmed:
    • Who is exempt (the only one confirmed so far is commercial truckers).
    • Trudeau stated that Canadians who arrive at the border without a negative test will be allowed entry but fined up to $3,000. It is unclear how the amount of the fine will be determined and whether it will apply to those who arrive with an expired test or the wrong kind of test. It is also unclear whether those who arrive without an acceptable test will be sent to a designated quarantine facility, similar to what some Canadians have experienced in the last few weeks after arriving by air with the wrong kind of test.
    • Whether those without a negative test and facing a fine will be allowed to withdraw their request to enter Canada and return to the U.S. to complete the test before returning to the port of entry (provided they are eligible to enter the U.S.).
  • Air travelers landing in Canada will have to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense starting February 22, 2021, with bookings opening February 18. A 3-night booking at a designated hotel will need to be made prior to landing at the airport. Travellers must be tested on arrival by the government and each traveller will be given a self-administered test that must be done prior to leaving the hotel. As soon as a negative test is received the air traveller will be permitted to leave the hotel and carry on to their final destination where they must then quarantine for the remainder of the 14 days. If a positive test is received, the air traveller will be transported to a federal quarantine facility.
  • Use of the ArriveCAN App will be mandatory for all those entering by land borders starting February 22.
We will share more details as soon as they are available.

We continue to recommend that anyone (including Canadian citizens and permanent residents) seeking to enter or exit Canada speak with an immigration lawyer before doing so. Our lawyers can be reached by phone (416 368 1111) or via email:;;;;;;;;;;

Please contact your lawyer at CILF for additional details or specific questions.