Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Current Border Measures and Requirements

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has made travel between countries difficult, and that includes movement between Canada and the United States.  Differences in outbreak responses, and infection numbers, have meant that numerous new restrictions have been put into place, even for those simply crossing back and forth over the southern border.

Those who are currently traveling abroad should be aware that they may face new challenges when returning home.  In this article, our team at ARGO Customs wanted to quickly go over the most important coronavirus-related regulations, and how trips into Canada will be impacted.


What Traveling Canadians Need to Know About Returning Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

First, it is important to note that the Canadian government strongly discourages Canadians from leaving the country unless they have a genuine need to.  While there are no hard border exit procedures in place as of yet, this is truly not the right time to be taking vacations or engaging in other non-essential travel.

Once a non-commercial Canadian resident is at the border, seeking re-entry, the following steps will be taken:

  1. They will be given a coronavirus prevention kit that includes various items such as facial masks, and instructions for use.
  2. People who are showing no signs of coronavirus infection will still be expected to self-quarantine for 14 days upon reaching their final destination unless exempted.
  3. Those who are showing any signs of infection such as a high fever must report to a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) official for instructions and further testing.

For any Canadians currently abroad, who believe they may have contracted the coronavirus, the best choice would be to stay put and seek local treatment.  Do not attempt to return home unless it cannot be avoided.

Exceptions to Quarantine Procedures

Those who cross the border regularly, particularly those providing necessary cross-border goods and services, can potentially be exempted from the testing and quarantine procedures.

Also, those transiting across Canada – such as Americans going between the continental States and Alaska – can potentially avoid quarantine.  However, this will only be in cases where the travel is necessary/compulsory.  Also, they will be expected to follow a direct path to their intended destination, without deviation, and while making as few stops for necessary services as possible.  Social distancing and mask-wearing will be expected and enforced.

These are complicated times for anyone crossing the US/Canadian border, particularly those engaged in commerce.  For help ensuring your goods arrive safely with a minimum of delay, contact the importation experts at ARGO Customs.