Ready to run away, eh?
Canada has tightened up the rules regulating incoming travel in the fight against COVID-19. So whether the politics or the pandemic have got you feeling blue, an escape to America’s northern neighbor will take a bit of planning – and quarantining.
Canada announced the new mandatory requirements for arriving visitors on Nov. 2 — and ironically, just before Election Day. The country’s immigration website famously crashed during the 2016 presidential race as the results rolled in, showing Republican nominee Donald Trump in the lead.
Though the border remains closed to nonessential travel from the U.S. until at least Nov. 21 over coronavirus concerns, the Public Health Agency of Canada has revealed the requirements visitors must heed to enter in the coming weeks.
Tightening up the ArriveCAN program, as of Nov. 21 air travelers whose final destination is Canada must submit their quarantine plan, contact info, travel details and a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment before boarding their flight. Upon arrival, visitors must provide proof of the completed ArriveCAN receipt, available online and through a mobile app.
Those who fail to do so may be subject to enforcement action, ranging from warnings to a $1,000 fine.
However, “exceptions will be made for those unable to submit documents electronically due to personal circumstances, such as disability or inadequate infrastructure,” the health agency specified.
Also as of Nov. 21, travelers who come by air, land or sea must submit these details through ArriveCAN or by calling a toll-free number within 48 hours of arriving at their place of quarantine to confirm they will be isolating. While in quarantine, visitors must submit a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment each day they are isolating.
“This is a significant step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 as traveler information can be shared quickly and securely with provinces and territories to contact travelers for public health follow-up, and with law enforcement to verify compliance with the Mandatory Isolation Order,” the agency added. More information is available at the ArriveCAN website.
Last month, Canadian Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair said that the outstanding nonessential travel restrictions from the U.S. would be extended until at least Nov. 21 amid the ongoing outbreak.
“Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe,” Blair explained. The US-Canada border has been closed since March to stop the spread of the viral disease.
Though it’s too early to speculate about a possible northern exodus because of the election, The New York Post reports that Google searches for “how to apply for Canadian citizenship” surged during the first “yelling match” of a debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.