After a long period of closed borders, it is finally possible to travel to Canada again as of September 2021. If you are planning on going to Canada soon for a holiday, business trip or family visit, there are a few things you need to take into account. Not only do you need an eTA Canada, but you also need to download the ArriveCAN app.
What is ArriveCAN?
All travellers, with few exceptions, are required to download the ArriveCAN app on their phone or complete the web version. You can download the app here for Android and here for Apple smartphones. You may be denied entry into Canada if you fail to fill in your details in the app or on the Canadian government website beforehand. Once you have completed your details via ArriveCAN, a receipt will be emailed to you. You can show a digital version of this receipt (via the app, email or as a screenshot) or a printed version to your airline or Canadian Customs.
The receipt only shows that you have successfully transmitted the information. The ArriveCAN app does not exempt you from any public health regulations that may apply, it is not proof of vaccination or proof that your purpose of travel is essential, and it does not guarantee that you will actually be allowed to enter Canada.
What information do I need to fill in?
Contact information and travel details
You must provide both your own contact details and those of the people travelling with you. In addition, you must provide some travel details such as the purpose of your trip, date and time of arrival. If you are flying to Canada, enter your flight number, the name of the airport and the airline. If travelling by land or sea, enter the name of the border crossing or port.
Vaccination certificate and test results
In the ArriveCAN app, you can fill in your vaccination details, and your vaccination certificate if you want to be eligible for the fully vaccinated exemption. You can also upload the results of the coronavirus test that you must take before arriving in Canada. In addition, you will be asked for information about the countries you have visited in the 14 days prior to your arrival in Canada. Countries where you have transited do not count.
You will also be asked some questions regarding your quarantine plan. For example, you will be asked whether you have accommodation where you can go into quarantine for 14 days or more and whether you can avoid any contact at this location with other people who weren’t travelling with you. You should also indicate whether you will have access to basic necessities, such as water, food and medicines, without having to leave your quarantine location. You will also have to indicate whether there will be people present at this location who are at increased risk of a serious Covid-19 outbreak. These include people over 65 who have not been fully vaccinated, people with underlying medical conditions or a weakened immune system. You should also fill in if there are people present who work in an institution where people at increased risk of Covid-19 reside.
Do I need ArriveCAN for a layover in Canada?
Travellers who only transfer into Canada and then travel on to another country - without leaving the secure area at the airport - do not need to upload their data into the ArriveCAN app. In the case of a transfer, you only need to apply for an eTA Canada using the online application form.
Do I need to report changes in my travel plans?
Before you arrive in Canada
If your travel plans change before you enter Canada and the information you provided in the ArriveCAN app is no longer correct, you must start a new application. ArriveCAN will then delete your previous information.
After you arrive in Canada
If you are fully vaccinated
Fully vaccinated travellers are not required to report on their health through ArriveCAN after arriving in Canada, and are not required to be tested after arrival. If you receive notifications or emails from ArriveCAN asking you to complete your daily reporting or to be tested on day 8 of your trip, please contact the Public Health Agency of Canada. You may ignore these notifications.
If you are not fully vaccinated
The day after you arrive in Canada, you must confirm that you have arrived at the address you gave as your quarantine location. If you have coronavirus symptoms during your quarantine period, you must report it. On day 8 you must take a coronavirus test, send the sample to the lab and wait for the results. You will be contacted by telephone (1-888-336-7735) to check compliance with the mandatory quarantine. In some cases, someone may visit you to confirm that you are complying. If you are sent to a designated quarantine facility, you do not have to report daily through ArriveCAN after arrival.