Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated February 23, 2021 at 3:27pm EDT.
All airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
- Canada has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders. Essential services in the country remain generally available, but some provinces have instituted restrictions and/or lockdowns that limit nonessential services such as restaurants, bars, and retail shops. Large gatherings are restricted in some provinces, and some schools and universities operate virtually or on hybrid models, combining remote instruction with limited in-class time. Religious services must comply with public health directives and provincial gathering size restrictions. For up-to-date information, consult the following websites:
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Canada? Yes
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
- COVID-19 testing is available throughout Canada for medical purposes. Testing programs are administered by provincial and territorial health authorities. In some provinces and territories, you can also obtain testing for travel purposes directly from the health authorities, while in others you must pay a private facility. Costs for private testing for travel purposes vary widely and can exceed $300.
- This Government of Canada website contains information about COVID-19 testing in Canada and includes a link to the COVID-19 information websites of each province and territory.
- If you are seeking COVID-19 testing solely to comply with air travel requirements to the United States or other countries, you should check with your air carrier or travel representative for the latest information.
- For information on limited humanitarian exemptions to CDC’s requirement that all U.S. bound travelers present a negative COVID test, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html
- Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity. To submit information in support of an exemption, follow the instructions here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the government of Canada approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
- The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
- This Government of Canada website provides information about COVID-19 vaccines in Canada.
- Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes, only essential travel is permitted when entering Canada by land, sea, or air.
- Canada restricts non-essential land, sea, and air entry by foreign nationals. For more information on entry restrictions, see Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) website here.
- “Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. “Essential travel”, which is still permitted, includes: work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes, for travelers ages 5 and older.
- Travelers by land or air must provide a negative laboratory COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results taken within 72 hours of their arrival at a land border or their scheduled air departure to Canada.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- Upon arrival to Canada, travelers by land and air are required to take a COVID-19 molecular test as well as towards the end of their 14-day quarantine. For more on these requirements, please click here.
- All passengers on flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering that covers their mouth and nose.
- Land Travel Considerations:
- Land borders are operating at reduced capacity and with limited hours. Visit CBP and CBSA for details on land border crossings.
- Arriving land travelers must submit contact and other information prior to traveling, as detailed here.
- Stricter rules and additional entry conditions impact travelers transiting through Canada to or from Alaska for a non-discretionary purpose. Full information is available in the CBSA News release.
- For more information on entering Canada at a land border, please click here.
- Air Travel Considerations:
- International airline passengers must arrive in Canada at one of four cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, or Montreal.
- Arriving airline passengers must submit contact and other information prior to flying, as detailed here.
- Airline passengers must quarantine in an approved hotel for three nights while they await arrival test results. Travelers are responsible for paying all hotel expenses (approximately $2,000 CAD). For more information, please click here.
- If you want to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor (stay in Canada longer), you need to apply for a visitor record. A visitor record is a document that gives you status as a visitor in Canada, allows you to stay longer and includes a new expiration date. You must apply for a visitor record before your current status expires.
- If you have a work permit that is about to expire or you need to make changes to it, you should apply to extend your work permit or change the conditions on it. You need to apply at least 30 days before your current work permit expires. You cannot extend your work permit beyond the expiration date of your passport.
- If you have a pending Canadian immigration application and your U.S. passport has expired, please see the Government of Canada’s webpage on the impact of COVID-19 on immigration, refugee, citizenship, and passport operations. You may be eligible for an extension on your application if it is not documentarily complete due to COVID-19.
- Is a curfew in place? No
- There is no nation-wide curfew, the following websites offer up-to-date provincial information:
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes
- Some provinces and territories have put in place specific restrictions for travel across their borders, including for domestic travelers. Please see our latest Message to U.S. Citizens on Domestic Travel Restrictions within Canada for more information.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes
- Travelers entering Canada must present a credible 14-day quarantine plan. Information on what constitutes a credible quarantine plan is available on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website here. Airline passengers must stay in an approved hotel for three nights awaiting the results of the COVID-19 molecular test they took on arrival in Canada. Those who test positive must finish their 14-day quarantine in a Canadian government-designated facility.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- Most localities require passengers wear masks on public transport, including taxis, trains, and buses
Fines for Non-Compliance:
- Violations of rules regarding social distancing, movement restrictions, and mask mandates can result in fines and/or imprisonment. In particular, failure to comply with the current border restrictions is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to $750,000 in fines, and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months.
- Government of Canada’s COVID-19 response website.
- Other links:
- COVID-19 Traveler Information page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- Travel.state.gov Country Information and Travel Advisory page for Canada.
Embassy and Consulate Contact Information:
U.S. Consulate General Montreal
1134 Rue Ste- Catherine West
Montréal, Quebec H3B 1H4
Telephone: +1 (514) 398-9695
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (416) 645-9124
Fax: +1 (514) 398-9748
U.S. Consulate General Toronto
360 University Ave
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4
Telephone: +1 (416) 595-1700
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (416) 595-6506
Fax: +1 (416) 595-5466
U.S. Consulate General Vancouver
1075 West Pender Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Telephone: +1 (604) 685-4311
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (604) 685-4311
Fax: +1 (604) 685-7175
U.S. Consulate General Halifax
Purdy’s Wharf Tower II
1969 Upper Water Street, Suite 904
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7
Telephone: +1 (902) 429-2480
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (902) 429-2480, Press 1
Fax: +1 (902) 423-6861
U.S. Consulate Winnipeg
201 Portage Avenue, Suite 860
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3K6
Telephone: +1 (204) 940-1800
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (403) 266-8962 and press “0” for assistance (Consulate General Calgary)
Fax: +1 (204) 940-1809
U.S. Consulate General Quebec
2, rue de la Terrasse Dufferin
(Vieux Quebec, behind Chateau Frontenac)
Quebec, Quebec G1R 4T9
Telephone: +1 (418) 692-2095
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (418) 692-2096
Fax: +1 (418) 692-4640