What are the rules for travelling across Canada?

Non-essential travel outside of Alberta is not recommended. But if you go, the rules vary for each province and territory.

Travelling outside of Alberta is allowed, but it is not recommended, even within Canada. If you are planning to leave the province, understand that the rules are different for each province.

Earlier this year, British Columbia recommended that all non-essential travel across the B.C.-Alberta border be avoided. The province’s borders with the Yukon and Northwest Territories were also restricted to essential travel only, and some highways were closed.

As of mid-July, B.C. is permitting Canadians to freely travel to the province without having to self-isolating for 14 days upon arrival, as are Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Visitors to Yukon, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia may be required to self-isolate, depending on where they are traveling from, CBC reports

On July 3, the four Atlantic provinces created a "travel bubble" allowing residents to cross boundaries without requiring self-isolation.

Here's how it was for the other provinces earlier this year:

  • In early April, the Quebec government placed checkpoints at various points along its border to prevent non-essential travel. As of May, the government slowly started opening up most of the province, including along the highly frequented inter-provincial bridges in the National Capital Region.
  • Provinces such as Nova Scotia and Manitoba imposed a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for travellers coming from other parts of Canada.
  • In May, Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health issued a special measures order stating that the only people allowed to enter the province are residents of the province along with asymptomatic workers and those who have extenuating circumstances.
  • As of June 20, New Brunswick still prohibited all non-essential travel. Visitors were to be screened and anyone authorized to enter had to stop and answer questions by a peace officer and was subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation.
  • As of May 5, Prince Edward Island was also barring all non-essential travel. Anyone attempting to enter the province for non-essential reasons could be turned away or be told to leave immediately if they were found to be there for the wrong reasons. See the Pre-Travel Approval Process for additional details.
  • In March, Nunavut enacted the strictest travel regulations in Canada. As of May, they were still in place, with only Nunavut residents and critical workers allowed into the territory. Residents have to provide proof of residency to be allowed to fly into Nunavut.

Despite all the travel bans, Canadian airlines added new flights to their summer travel schedules.

Calgary-based airline WestJet released its updated summer schedule. Starting July 5, it is offering flights to 39 Canadian destinations, five in the U.S. and one to Mexico. The new schedule includes six flights a day from Edmonton to Calgary, and three a day each from Edmonton to Vancouver and Toronto.

Air Canada is resuming numerous flights on routes within Canada, the U.S. and to some international destinations, with even more flights to be added in August and September.

Albertans can travel within the province, including to vacation homes, cabins, hotels, campgrounds, and national and provincial parks. Travellers are asked to abide by physical distancing guidelines and use the province’s mobile contact tracing app while out in public.

Published By:
Kianni Reynolds-Lewis

Kianni Reynolds-Lewis

Thursday, June 25, 2020

by Karen Unland




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For the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, see edmonton.ca/covid19, alberta.ca/covid19, canada.ca/covid19, and the World Health Organization.