The Government of Canada is making changes for all passengers entering the country or returning home from a trip abroad. Starting on November 21, all arrivals, including Canadian citizens and foreign nationals, must fill out the ArriveCan App before entry. Strict quarantine measures for all returning Canadians and permanent residents has dramatically reduced outbound medical travel numbers.
ArriveCan is an online app that was created in April this year to help minimise the spread of Covid-19 from travellers returning to Canada, or from foreign nationals who are permitted entry.
The app asks specific questions about symptoms and the health of the passenger, what specific quarantine plan is for the full 14-days, and personal contact information for potential checks. It makes sure all arrivals are aware they must quarantine and sets the tone for personal responsibility by making arrivals check in, once in quarantine.
Throughout the spring and summer, using the app was optional, but the app is now compulsory when entering Canada. Failure to do so can result in warnings, secondary screenings at customs, or even large fines.
ArriveCan app has two purposes, both for pre-entry into the country, and post-entry to follow up on travellers once they are in quarantine. The post-entry step is a check-in. It is a mandatory step for all forms of entry including by air, sea or land.
The Canadian federal government allows Canadians to travel but advises them not to. The land border with the USA is closed, but they can fly.
A few essential travellers are allowed into Canada, but tourism is banned and there is no exemption for US citizens who may have wanted or needed to go across the border for medical care.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada continue to be subject to strict quarantine measures. This means that if Canadians go to Cuba, the Caymans, USA or Mexico for medical treatment they have to quarantine on their return. This has dramatically reduced outbound numbers.