Message to U.S. Citizens in Canada: Update on Canadian International and Domestic Travel Restrictions – January 15, 2021


Message to U.S. Citizens in Canada:  Update on Canadian International and Domestic Travel Restrictions

January 15, 2021     

Event: Extension of Border Restrictions

Location: Canada


The U.S. and Canadian governments have agreed to extend cross-border travel restrictions to non-essential travel through February 21, 2021.      

  • Non-essential travel includes tourism, recreation, and entertainment.    
  • Permitted essential travel includes work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, immediate medical care, and safety and security.  

COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Air Travel

The U.S. and Canadian governments have instituted new protocols for air travel. 

  • Effective January 26, all air passengers 2 years of age or older entering the United States (including U.S.  citizens and Legal Permanent Residents), must present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.  Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding.  
  • Please see CDC’s FAQ for answers to questions about the new requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.
  • The Canadian Government requires all air travelers 5 years of age or older be tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel to Canada.  The new regulation requires passengers to provide their airline with negative laboratory COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.  For more on this new requirement please click hereThis new measure is in addition to the existing mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers entering Canada. 

Note: COVID-19 tests in Canada are administered through the provinces and territories.  More information, including links to provincial and territorial authorities, is available here.  


Additional Information 

Land borders are operating at reduced capacity and with limited hours.  Travelers entering Canada must present a credible 14-day quarantine plan and adhere to other health measures.  See CBP and CBSA websites for details on U.S. and Canadian border restrictions.  

  • ArriveCAN RequirementsCanada requires travelers to submit their travel and contact information and quarantine plans digitally.  For complete information on ArriveCAN requirements, please click here.  
  • Alaska TransitThe Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) enforces specific rules and additional entry conditions on travelers transiting through Canada to or from Alaska for non-discretionary purposes.  The summary of the Alaska transit rules can be viewed here.   


Provincial Travel Restrictions    

Individual provinces may have additional restrictions that can affect your travel. Please refer to provincial websites (by clicking on the province’s name below) for full details and the latest information.  


British Columbia  


New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador  

Nova Scotia  

Northwest Territories  



Prince Edward Island  




Saint Pierre et Miquelon  


Actions to Take      

Keep STEP Enrollment Active:  

  • Encourage U.S. citizen friends and family to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so the U.S. Embassy and Consulates can contact them with updated information.  If you plan to remain in Canada beyond your previously planned travel dates, remember to modify your STEP profile in order to continue to receive information and emergency alerts.

Monitor the following U.S. Government websites:

Monitor the following Canadian Government websites:

Monitor the following additional suggested websites:

  • Airlines, buses, trains, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.     


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For Assistance:

  • The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General are continually monitoring the current situation in Canada and continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.  To contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulates General please find the location closest to you here.