By Lynn Desjardins
As of November 21, 2020 people who travel to Canada by air will be required to submit information online before the board their flight. The new mandatory requirement is designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
In April 2020, the Canadian government introduced ArriveCAN, a platform that allows travellers to comply with border measures. Later this month, air travellers whose final destination is Canada will have to go to the site and fill in travel and contact information, a quarantine plan (unless they are exempt) and a self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms.
A receipt must be shown upon entry
After submitting their information, they will receive an ArriveCAN receipt. Upon entering Canadsa, they must show this receipt to a border services officer who will verify that they have submitted all the information. Travellers who do not submit the required information online before boarding their flight could be subject to a verbal warning or a fine of $1,000. Exceptions will be made for people who cannot submit documents electronically, perhaps because they have a disability or they lack an internet connection.
Starting on November 4, 2020, air carriers may remind travellers that they need to submit information through ArriveCAN before boarding their flight to Canada.
Starting immediately, people entering Canada by land or water are “strongly encouraged” to continue ArriveCAN by downloading the mobile app or signing in online to provide the mandatory information before they arrive. This, the government says, will avoid additional delays for public health questions and will limit points of contact at the border.
All will have to submit information daily during quarantine
As of November 21, 2020, travellers who have arrived by any means of transportation will be required to submit information through ArriveCAN or by calling the toll free number 1 833 641-0343 during their quarantine period. Within 48 hours of arriving, they must confirm they have reached their place of quarantine or isolation, and those in quarantine must complete a daily symptom check during the entire time they are isolated. Those who don’t use ArriveCAN before entering the country will have to call the toll free number on a daily basis and will not be able to revert to using the website. Travellers who do not submit the mandatory information after entering the country will be considered “a high priority for follow-up by law enforcement,” says Health Canada in a statement.
It notes the ArriveCAN app is available on Google Play for Android or through the App Store for iOS.
Some exceptions will apply
Travellers who are only in-transit and are not staying in Canada do not need to submit their information through ArriveCAN. Those who have difficulty using the site can get more information at at Canada.ca/ArriveCAN or by sending an email to: email@example.com.
Some airports will have dedicated lanes for faster processing by those who have used ArriveCAN to submit their information. The site does not use technology or data to monitor or track people’s movements, says the government, assuring that privacy is protected.