COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Travel Restrictions & Guidance

Contact info for federal authorities

Public Health Units can provide general information about the Quarantine Act but Canadian Border Services Agency/ Public Health Agency of Canada jointly administer the Act, so we cannot provide case/traveller-specific guidance, clearance, exemptions, etc. Please contact either of the following federal agencies for specific questions.

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC):

1-833-784-4397
phac.covid19.aspc@canada.ca
phac.quarantine.covid19.quarantaine.aspc@canada.ca *For quarantining travellers with questions*

Canadian Border and Service Agency (CBSA):

1-800-461-9999
contact@cbsa.gc.ca

Vaccine Passports (Proof of Vaccination)

The Canadian proof of vaccination (POV) was developed with Canadian provinces and territories with the support of the Government of Canada.  You can use the proof of vaccination to access services and to facilitate travel within and outside of Canada. For more information on the Canadian POV refer here

Travel within Canada

Per the October 6, 2021 Government of Canada news release:

“Effective October 30, air passengers departing from Canadian airports, travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, and travellers on non-essential passenger vessels on voyages of 24 hours or more, such as cruise ships, will need to be vaccinated.

Effective October 30, travellers will need to be fully vaccinated in order to board. Specifically, the vaccination requirement will apply to all travellers 12 years of age and older who are:

  • Air passengers flying on domestic, transborder or international flights departing from airports in Canada
  • Rail passengers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains
  • Marine passengers on non-essential passenger vessels, such as cruise ships, on voyages of 24 hours or more

For travellers who are in the process of being vaccinated, there will be a short transition period where they will be able to travel if they can show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel. By November 30, all travellers must be fully vaccinated, with very limited exceptions to address specific situations such as emergency travel, and those medically unable to be vaccinated.”

Understand the provincial/territory restrictionsproof of vaccination and quarantine requirements before you travel. 

Proof of Vaccination (POV)

Many provinces/territories now require POV to access non-essential services (e.g. restaurants, theatre, sporting events, etc.). These POV documents are issued by the province or territory where you obtained your vaccination.

Ontario’s enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code is built to the SMART Health Card standard adopted by the federal government in collaboration with other provinces and territories. Verify Ontario will only scan and read official, government issued QR codes, such as Ontario’s vaccine certificate and those SMART Health Codes from other provinces including Quebec, British Columbia and Yukon Territory. If you are travelling to another province understand what their vaccination requirements include. The enhanced vaccine certificate may also be particularly useful for international travellers since it includes the Government of Canada logo.

Travel Outside Ontario

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly advises that individuals and families:

  • only travel out of the province if it is essential
  • self-isolate for 10 days when arriving in or returning to Ontario

Travel to Canada

Non-essential travel is not recommended at this time.  International travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as spreading COVID-19 to others. Please refer to the Government of Canada website for more information on COVID-19 testing, entry requirements and quarantine requirements.

American Travellers (August 9, 2021)

Effective August 9, 2021 fully vaccinated (two weeks after receiving a full dose of a Canadian approved COVID-19 vaccine) citizens and permanent residents of the United States (U.S.) that are currently residing in the U.S. will be permitted to enter Canada for discretionary reasons (e.g. tourism). Entry into Canada for discretionary reasons will continue to be prohibited for U.S. travellers who are not fully vaccinated. Please refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada news release for more information.  

International Travellers (September 7, 2021)

Effective September 7, 2021 any fully vaccinated traveller (two weeks after receiving full dose of a Canadian approved COVID-19 vaccine) who meets specific entry requirements will be permitted to enter Canada as long as COVID-19 epidemiologic data is favourable. Entry into Canada will be prohibited for foreign nationals unless they meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act.

Travel by Water

  • Effective August 9th, 2021 fully vaccinated authorized travellers arriving by marine mode will now be eligible for eased quarantine and testing requirements. Marine travellers must complete a pre-entry test and submit ArriveCAN information before or when entering Canada (to accommodate for Wi-Fi issues on the water) and provide a quarantine plan.

Eligibility to Enter Canada

Complete the attached survey to understand if you are eligible to enter Canada. Please note that Canadian Border and Services Agents will determine if you are eligible to enter Canada.

ArriveCAN

All travellers (with limited exceptions) entering Canada must use ArriveCAN. You’ll need to submit your information within 72 hours before your arrival to Canada. 

Effective August 9, 2021 air carriers will verify that discretionary travellers (non-essential travel) have submitted their ArriveCAN information before boarding their flight (printed copy or on mobile device). Discretionary travellers will not be allowed to board their flight to Canada without completing ArriveCan. It is recommended that travellers carry a paper copy of their ArriveCAN receipt.

Travellers with a right to entry (e.g. Canadian citizens and permanent residents) or travellers who qualify for entry under another exemption (e.g. immediate or extended family member) or who are coming to Canada for essential reasons (such as temporary foreign workers, or international students) will not be denied boarding, but will be required to submit information relating to their vaccination status via the ArriveCAN app or website.

The following must be entered into ArriveCAN:

  • Contact & travel information
  • 14-day travel history
  • Quarantine plan for all travellers regardless of vaccination status
  • Confirmation of a negative pre-entry test (or positive test taken 14-90 days prior to travel)
  • Proof of vaccination if you have been vaccinated (must be in English or French, or a certified translation). 
  • COVID-19 symptom self-assessment

Vaccinations accepted for travel into Canada

To determine if you are fully vaccinated in Canada refer to the Government of Canada website.

Restrictions for partially/unvaccinated travellers into Canada

Discretionary travel (e.g. tourism) is not permitted for un/partially vaccinated foreign nationals. If you are authorized to enter Canada (e.g. international student) and you are not fully vaccinated with one of the Canadian Government approved vaccines then you must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and follow all of the rules (e.g. COVID-19 testing) for travel by land or air.  Fully vaccinated means you have received your last dose of approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.

Effective August 9, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., the three-night government hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air.

Restrictions for travelling into and out of Canada for fully vaccinated people

Effective July 5, fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on day-8, but they are required to provide a quarantine plan. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air will not be required to stay at a government-authorized hotel.

Effective August 9, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers. 

Travelling with children

Children under the age of 18 who are not fully vaccinated, or dependent adults who are travelling with fully vaccinated travellers must follow all testing requirements (unless under the age of 5).

Children 0-11 years old

Unvaccinated children travelling with fully vaccinated parent, step-parent, guardian or tutor will not be required to quarantine. This includes unvaccinated children under 12 years of age or unvaccinated dependent children (due to a mental or physical condition).

Unvaccinated children must follow strict public health measures, including avoiding group settings (e.g. school, camps, daycares) during the first 14 days after their arrival and must complete the pre-entry, arrival and Day 8 COVID-19 testing (unless under the age of 5).

Unvaccinated Youth (12-17 years old)
Unvaccinated youth 12 to 17 years of age are subject to the 14-day quarantine, and all testing requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day-8 tests, whether or not they are accompanied by travellers who qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

Understand the provinces and territorial requirements for where you are traveling to as they may be different than federal laws.

Things to know before booking your trip

Before you book your trip, understand the COVID-19 travel requirements of the country you are travelling to, as well as the requirements for returning to Canada. It is recommended that you contact your destination countries to check their COVID-19 travel requirements.

All travellers must complete the ArriveCAN information before boarding their flight.

Note: Travellers not meeting all the requirements to enter Canada will be denied entry, precluded from boarding their flight and/or could be fined upon arrival.

Testing information

Travellers are responsible for fees, including testing and all other associated expenses. COVID-19 travel testing fees may cost over $200.

Exemptions for travellers

Resources

Travel into Canada

United States travel restrictions

United States travel restrictionsEffective November 8, 2021 fully vaccinated international travelers (air, land, water) will be permitted to enter the United States for non-essential purposes (e.g. travel).  Travel requirements include:

  • A negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours will be required for anyone travelling by air.
  • Travelers must be fully vaccinated. The United States will accept mixed-dose vaccinations (see below): 
    • “For the purposes of interpretation of vaccination records, individuals can be considered fully vaccinated ≥2 weeks after receipt of the last dose if they have received any single dose of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO EUL approved single-dose series (i.e., Janssen), or any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed COVID-19 two-dose series.  The recommended interval between the first and second doses of FDA-approved/authorized and WHO-EUL listed vaccines varies by vaccine type. However, for purposes of interpretation of vaccine records, the second dose in a two dose heterologous series must have been received no earlier than 17 days (21 days with a 4 day grace period) after the first dose.”
  • It is understood that essential travelers (e.g. workers, medical treatment, international students, etc.) will require full vaccination by January 2022 (more details to follow). More information is available here.
  • Travel restrictions to U.S.

Other country travel restrictions

Other country approved vaccines

FAQ

Will international students be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Students that are turning 12 years of age or older this calendar year can register by calling our Vaccine Booking Centre at: 226-254-8222.

If I received a vaccine in another country do I need to get another shot here? What proof is needed? How can I register my shot?

As per guidance from the Ontario Ministry of Health regarding individuals vaccinated outside of Canada/Ontario:

• Proof of immunization (e.g. an immunization record, proof of vaccination certificate) is required to verify the COVID-19 vaccine product received outside of Canada or Ontario
• Individuals who have received a partial or complete COVID-19 vaccine series outside of Ontario or Canada should contact Lambton Public Health to have their COVID-19 immunization record documented in the provincial COVID-19 vaccine record system•
• Individuals who received the first dose of a two-dose Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine series outside of Ontario or Canada do not need to restart the vaccine series, but should receive the second dose as close to the interval recommended by Ontario as possible
• Individuals who have received all or some of the recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is neither authorized by Health Canada nor listed for emergency use by World Health Organization (WHO) should be offered a new series of a Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine
• Individuals who have proof of immunization and have received a complete one or two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized for use by Health Canada will be offered one additional dose of an mRNA vaccine

Are there any travel restrictions for driving/flying to another Canadian province or territory?

Go to the province or territory website of your final destination for restrictions and quarantine requirements.

I received a vaccine dose(s) however my provincial record has not been updated to reflect this. Who do I contact?

Contact the organization that administered the dose(s) to update your provincial record. The organization that administered the vaccine dose(s) must update your COVAX provincial vaccine record as they have the verifying documentation. If LPH did not administer your vaccine doses at one of our mass immunization clinics or mobile clinics, we are unable to add these doses to your provincial record at this time. If you are unsure of which organization provided your dose(s), you may call LPH and we will do our best to assist you or direct you to the appropriate organization.

Please Note: The provincial system is not being used to provide the Federal Government with vaccine documentation for traveling at this time. Please use the ArriveCAN app to upload the required documents for international travel.

I am fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Do I need to upload my vaccine records to the ArriveCAN app?

Yes. You must use ArriveCAN to enter your proof of vaccination, quarantine and travel information. 

• Proof of vaccination is not automatically uploaded from your provincial vaccine record. 
• You can access your vaccine receipts using the provincial COVID-19 vaccination website
• If you are not able to access the receipts using the above website, call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week).
• Lambton Public Health may also provide assistance. Please contact via email (CovidInquiries@county-lambton.on.ca) or call 226-254-8222.

I have mixed COVID-19 doses but some places I would like to travel require two doses of the same vaccine. Can I get a third shot so I can travel where I want?

Please note that the Government of Canada is still advising against non-essential travel outside of Canada. 

We cannot speak to what other countries have determined as acceptable COVID-19 vaccine schedules. We encourage you to check directly with your destination country to view their specific COVID-19 requirements for international travelers. The Government of Canada also provides destination-specific information (as well as re-entry to Canada requirements) for global travelers.

Note, effective November 8, 2021 the United States will accept mixed doses for entry into the United States for non-essential travel.

If you have received two doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada you are considered fully vaccinated by Health Canada, providing you with optimal protection, including against the Delta COVID-19 variant.

As per direction from NACI (National Advisory Committee on Immunization) specific guidance, the approved mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) are interchangeable:
All COVID-19 vaccines available in the province, have been determined to be safe and effective by Health Canada, and have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death associated with COVID-19.
To ensure maximum protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant, Ontarians have been encouraged to receive their second dose as soon as they are eligible.

Please note that Canada is not the only country to mix vaccines and as the science regarding COVID-19 vaccine mixing and their efficacy grows more countries may approve the vaccine mixing regimen that has been approved by Health Canada.

Third doses of COVID-19 vaccine are available only to specific vulnerable populations, which does not include those needing a third dose solely for travel. Please refer to our third dose registration page for details.