Canada travel restrictions Summer 2023: What travelers need to know - Intentional Travelers (2023)

At Intentional Travelers, we believe travel can be transformational. That’s why we want to help you travel confidently, safely,andresponsibly. With ever-changing travel restrictions and concerns surrounding COVID-19, our goal is to help you make informed decisions about where, when, and how to travel in this new world of ours.

This post about Canada travel in 2023 is periodically updated with official Canada travel restrictions, requirements and guidance.

As restrictions vary based on the traveler’s citizenship, we will focus primarily on rules affecting U.S. citizens.

At the end of the post, we share on-the-ground perspectives from local residents and travelers to Canada so you can get a true sense of what to expect.

Last update: May 17, 2023. Originally published: September 2021.

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of our links, we may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

Table of Contents

Is Canada open for travel? Can I travel to Canada right now?

As of October 2022,Canada travel restrictionsfor all travelers entering Canada by air, land or sea include:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not required
  • COVID-19 pre-entry and arrival tests are not required
  • Quarantine is not required
  • ArriveCAN is not required
  • Pre-boarding tests for cruise passengers are not required
  • Health checks to board planes and trains are not required
  • Wearing masks on planes and trains is not required but strongly recommended

There is no longer a separate requirement for travelers from China.

Quarantine rules in Canada: What happens if I get Covid?

Foreign tourists whotest positive for Covidwhile in Canada should self-isolate immediately. The Canadian local public health authority will determine the length of quarantine based on a variety of factors.

Hotels, vacation rentals, and private residences are accepted quarantine locations. Travelers may be required to cover costs of quarantine accommodations.

Those with severe symptoms are advised to call 911 or the local emergency number in Canada.

Canada Proof of Vaccination Requirements for Dining, Travel, and other services

You might be wondering: Do I need a vaccine certificate or Covid test to enter restaurants, public transit, and other services in Canada?

As of June 2022, proof of vaccination is no longer required to board aplane, train or cruise shipwhen travelingwithinCanada. Generally it is not required to enter businesses or restaurants.

Eachprovince or territoryhas the authority to require a proof of vaccination each situation.

Can I travel to Canada in May 2023? Can I travel to Canada this Summer?

Travel to Canada in May is possible for foreign travelers. Read on for details and check back for updates.

What is it like to fly to Canada right now?YYZToronto Pearson International Airport? YVR Vancouver International Airport?Masks are no longer required but still strongly recommended. The airports are using enhanced cleaning procedures and hand sanitizer is available throughout the terminals.

As ofOctober 2022, all persons arriving in Canada will no longer be subject to randomized testing at airports.

Using ArriveCAN is now optional for travelers flying into Toronto, Vancouver or Montréal international airports to submit anAdvance CBSA Declarationto save time upon arrival.

What is it like to drive into Canada right now?Travelers can enter Canada duringopen hours at land borders. Required documents must be shown at the border.

Check Canada-US border wait times here.

Do I have to quarantine when traveling to Canada?No. Quarantine upon arrival is no longer required in Canada. Persons who test positive for Covid in Canada are asked to quarantine. See above for details.

Does Canada check COVID-19 symptoms of incoming travelers?No. Health screening procedures are no longer required to enter Canada.

Does Canada require a negative Covid 19 test for travelers?No. Covid pre-entry tests and arrival tests are no longer required.

Does Canada require a proof of Coronavirus vaccine for travelers?No.Proof of vaccination is no longer required in Canada.

Do I still need to provide a negative Covid test or quarantine if I have been vaccinated?No. Travelers are no longer required to provide a negative Covid test or quarantine to enter Canada.

Is a booster shot required for travel to Canada?At this time, booster shots are not required in Canada. There is currently no expiration period set for the validity of vaccinations.

What Covid testing options are available for travelers in Canada?
U.S. citizens can obtain a COVID-19 test fromprovincial health authoritiesor private facilities in Canada.

The cost for private testing varies depending on the location and can exceed $300. Rapid tests for $60 with results in 30 minutes are availableby appointment near Toronto Airport.

What healthcare options are available to travelers in Canada who get the virus?Canada hospitals and clinics are open. Canada’s universal healthcare does not pay for visitors.

Testing centers are also available for foreign visitors in some provinces and territories in Canada.

For travel insurance that covers Covid, check outNomad Insurance by Safety Wing >

What service businesses and restaurants are open in Canada?Essential services, restaurants, bars, and retail shops are open in Canada. Some limitations, such as proof of vaccination requirement, may still be implemented in some provinces.

Check here for restrictions in each province.

Are face masks required in Canada?Wearing of face masks is no longer required in Canada but still strongly recommended.

Are buses running in Canada?Public transportation is available throughout Canada.

Will Canada impose new Covid restrictions?What’s next is difficult to predict. Historically, most countries impose COVID-19 restrictions when strains on the health care system might become unsustainable. Canada has been relatively proactive and “strict” on preventive Covid measures.

How has the Coronavirus impacted Canada?

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a recession and increased unemployment in Canada. Tourism was hit especially hard.

Canada experienced a surge in cases with the Omicron variant. Many provinces reintroduced restrictions. As the situation came under control, Canada started easing travel restrictions.

As of October 2022, Canada ended all travel, testing, and border requirements and restrictions related to COVID-19.

Canada initially started reopening for tourism in summer 2021. As of September 2021, fully vaccinated foreign travelers have been allowed to visit the country without undergoing quarantine.

Canada began COVID-19 vaccination in December 2020. Currently, more than 3/4 of the total population has been fully vaccinated.

For the current situation in Canada, including: total COVID-19 positive cases; total cases in Canada; and COVID-19 testing in Canada, please see theGovernment of Canada website.

What should you pack for safely traveling in Canada?

😷 Face Masks– Face coverings are recommended in crowded public places.
Find N95 masks at Bona Fide >ordesigner options at Vida >

💊 Medicine– Bring enough prescription and over-the-counter medication for your entire trip to avoid trips to the clinic.

💳 Vaccine Card Holder– Protect that paper CDC card when traveling abroad (if your country doesn’t offer a digital version).
Get a simple plastic protector > orVegan leather clippable >orLeather passport + card combo holder >

👃 Covid self-test– The most studied rapid antigen self-test with FDA emergency authorization.NOTvalid to enter countries. Use for your own peace of mind.
Order from CVS >orWalmart >

💧 Sealed water bottle– Make sure your reusable water bottle has a lid that’s not exposed to the air. We use one of each of the following:
Shop insulated water bottles with protective lid >
Shop water bottles with purification filter and protective lid >

✈️ Travel insurance that covers Covid– We’ve started usingNomad Insurance by Safety Wingfor affordable evacuation, international medical, and trip coverage.

What do Canada locals and recent travelers say about visiting Canada now?

What is it like to visit Canada right now? It’s our goal to provide regular updates here from real people on the ground, to help potential visitors know what to expect.

The following are subjective opinions only. Official travel guidance can be found above.

May 2023 – Nick Rosen ofThe World Overload, American visitor:“I flew to Quebec City and Montreal for a one week vacation in May 2023. There are currently no travel restrictions but some locals and visitors continue to follow Covid guidelines including masks and safe distances. There is easy access to healthcare and testing.

All attractions and food services continue to operate for tourism. Hours may vary depending on day/weekend. Please check ahead when scheduling. Be aware that summer is the time when most construction and repairs are done by the cities you will be visiting.”

January 2023 – Melissa fromMy Beautiful Passport, Canadian:“Tourism in Ontario is picking up overall, with most events & festivals resuming in 2023, if they didn’t already resume in 2022.

Canada appears ready to welcome tourists back into the country. Niagara Falls and other popular Canadian destinations are lively, restaurants and attractions are open, and people are ready to explore again, wearing masks indoors as encouraged. Hospitals are not currently overwhelmed.”

September 2022 – Michelle, Intentional Travelers, US citizen: “We flew from the US to Canada for a conference in Montreal, Quebec. I submitted our ArriveCAN information a couple days before the flight using the website. It was pretty simple to input our passport number, vaccine dates, and upload a photo of our CDC vaccine cards. Then there was a form for trip details.There was a quick Covid self-assessment form asking about fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Confirmation included a six-digit code and QR code that we printed and brought to the airport.

After all that, we had more online processes to complete for both airlines on our itinerary (United and Air Canada), including uploading our CDC vaccine cards again. Air Canada’s site did not accept our vaccine card image, but it wasn’t a problem, I guess because we had ArriveCAN done.

To board the flight from US to Canada, we only had to show our passport and ticket. On arrival in Montreal, we only ‘flashed’ our ArriveCAN confirmation to an agent on our way to the machines where we scanned our passports and completed immigration questionnaires, which included just one question about having any Covid symptoms, and took a picture. Arriving around midnight, the process took less than 15 minutes.

We were fortunate all our bags arrived. The baggage claim looked like a luggage graveyard with hundreds of unclaimed suitcases everywhere!”

May 2022 –Mayuri ofCanada Crossroads, Canadian resident:“In my province (Alberta, home to the Canadian Rockies) domestic tourism has been flourishing. All the sightseeing spots are open, but some have restricted hours.

Since February (in Alberta, and from April nationwide) things are open, no restrictions in terms of social distancing, masking, access to medical care, restaurants, stores and hotels. In fact many airports are busier than usual (including the country’s busiest Toronto airport – just flew last week). I feel we need to be a little more prepared for summer tourism as many international visitors are wanting to explore Canada.”

March 9, 2022 –Samantha ofContinuous Roamer, Canadian resident:“Domestic travel in Canada is straightforward since there are no extra requirements once you have entered the country. However, mask wearing is necessary and some provinces still require a vaccine passport.

The vaccine passport has been removed in Ontario in March. Capacity in Ontario restaurants is now at 100% so it is easier to get a table. Although, free antigen covid tests are extremely difficult to access at pharmacies in Ontario. British Columbia still requires the vaccine passport, therefore lines are longer to enter some establishments while your pass and ID are checked.”

January 20, 2022 –Haley Blackall Travel, Digital Nomad:“My partner and I visited family and worked online in Kelowna BC for 2.5 months from mid-November 2022 to end of January 2022. Tourism in this region of Canada is low, due to winter conditions especially for international visitors.
Make sure you have all the required documentation upon arrival, because airline personnel are doing proper checks. If you arrive in Canada from an international destination and are unvaccinated, there is a smooth running process for a mandatory Covid-19 test at the airport upon arrival, and the ArriveCAN app is easy to navigate in which the government keeps a close eye on contact tracing and quarantine requirements. Canadians have quick access to healthcare, including testing for antigen and PCR. After restaurants offering takeout and delivery services only at the beginning of the pandemic, dining in is becoming more popular. Besides the use of masks, life is getting back to normal in Canada.”

January 2022 – Mary fromBrbymary,French traveler:“I flew to Vancouver for a week [from Ireland] to visit my partner’s family. Everything was well organised through ArriveCan app. Testing at the airport was easy although a bit behind and people respected rules in general.
Plan some additional time to do tests at the airport and to do tests on arrival even if you have an appointment.”

December 2021 – Federica ofGlobetrottoise, Canadian nomad:“I would say Canada is a pretty safe destination at the moment, especially outside the big cities. I’ve been road tripping around the Yukon, British Columbia and Alberta in the past few months and always felt safe and able to enjoy most attractions, from museums to national parks.
Canada is open to vaccinated travellers only and health regulations are in place in most public places. Masks are mandatory inside almost everywhere and in some provinces the access to cafes restaurants, movie theaters, libraries, etc is possible only with a valid proof of vaccination. Attractions are mostly open everywhere and access to covid testing is pretty easy (but quite pricey).”

November 12, 2021 – Nicole ofTraveling BC, Canadian citizen:“While businesses are still operating under restrictions, in general, many rules have lifted and now it’s ‘full steam ahead’ in the tourism industry. Some touristy areas (the coasts and the Rockies) even became quite busy over the summer, since everyone wanted to go on a much-needed vacation. If you visit, you’ll have to show a negative COVID test and be required to wear a mask, socially distance, and show your vaccination passport!

Most people and businesses follow the restrictions and around 75% of people are fully vaccinated, although compliance with restrictions and vaccinations varies between provinces and cities. Accessing COVID testing is easy and quick, although you’ll have to pay for the test if you’re traveling. A lot of healthcare has moved to online appointments, and some hospitals are still overwhelmed in areas with lots of COVID cases. Businesses are open to tourists, but many operate under reduced hours, lower capacities and may have halted certain services/activities due to COVID. You will often have to book activities online or by phone, and make sure to wear a mask and bring proof of vaccination, or businesses will deny you entry.”

November 2021 – Chris, American digital nomad:“I flew to Newfoundland for one month in October and November of 2021. Everything seems to be open again, though every place where you would take off a mask (such as a restaurant) requires you to show proof of vaccination. People seem very respectful and friendly, happy to show you around.
There is voluntary contact tracing check-ins at a lot of locations. There don’t seem to be long lines anywhere. Testing is free and readily available.”

October 9, 2021 – Nicole,Go Far Grow Close, Vancouver BC, Canadian resident:“Visitors are very much welcome. There are strict regulations for visitors to enter Canada (fully vaccinated) so we know that they are as safe or safer than the locals. So long as they follow the rules – wear masks indoors – no one cares.
I feel that we are very travel ready in Canada. If you feel ill, there are free drive through covid testing sites. Hospitals are available. Local attractions, food services, and all amenities are open so long as you wear masks indoors (or when you get up in a restaurant), social distance and follow whatever other rules might be in place. Restaurants are still not at full capacity but getting there. Movie theatres are open. We eat out regularly, go to movies, and do not feel restricted.”

September 2021 – Kathy, American traveler:“We planned to spend two months in British Columbia, Canada. We had to show proof of vaccination and have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of crossing. We managed to get a test at a local CVS pharmacy (for free) and got our results in about 36 hours. Whew! There is another place to get a test in Seattle with guaranteed results but they cost $165 each. We also had to go to the website and answer questions and download our vaccine cards.
Finally, in the early morning hours of August 9th we arrived at the Canadian Border just south of Vancouver, BC at around 4:30 a.m. There were approximately 20 cars/trucks in two lines. Unfortunately, the line we picked took forever so when it finally turned 6:00 a.m. another agent opened a new gate and we were there and across the border in about 10 minutes.
We have now been in BC Canada for over a month. There are very few U.S. citizens here but lots of traveling Canadians. In fact, their COVID numbers have spiked so it is now a requirement to wear masks in stores/grocery stores and entering and leaving restaurants. No problem. We feel safe doing that and know that even though there is some resistance, most Canadians are fully vaccinated. In fact, as of August 13th restaurants and bars and other certain
businesses now require that people show proof of vaccination to enter. I am in complete support. We feel grateful we were able to spend some of our summer in this beautiful country.”

Planning a trip to Canada?

Check out our other Canada travel resources:
The Scenic Route: Kelowna to Banff
The Best of Banff on a Budget

Kelowna: British Columbia’s Hidden Gem
Montreal, Quebec Summer Trip Guide

– 5 Awesome Things to Do in Vancouver, BC in Summer

If you have questions or updates about travel to Canada during the Coronavirus crisis or post-pandemic, please let us know in the comments below.

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Please note, travel restrictions change frequently. Readers must take responsibility for verifying information through officialsources like the State Department and CDC, in respect to their specific situations.No responsibility can be accepted by Intentional Travelers for action or inaction as a result of information provided through Any information provided here is issued as general information only.

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