Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 154, Number 42: ORDERS IN COUNCIL

October 17, 2020

PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA

QUARANTINE ACT

Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation), No. 6

P.C. 2020-797 October 7, 2020

Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that

  • (a) based on the declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, there is an outbreak of a communicable disease, namely coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), in the majority of foreign countries;
  • (b) the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health in Canada;
  • (c) the entry of persons into Canada who have recently been in a foreign country may introduce or contribute to the spread of the disease in Canada; and
  • (d) no reasonable alternatives to prevent the introduction or spread of the disease are available;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Actfootnote a, makes the annexed Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation), No. 6.

Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation), No. 6

Definitions

Definitions

1 The following definitions apply in this Order.

  • Chief Public Health Officer means the Chief Public Health Officer appointed under subsection 6(1) of the Public Health Agency of Canada Act. (administrateur en chef)
  • dependent child has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. (enfant à charge)
  • isolation means the separation of persons who have reasonable grounds to suspect that they have COVID-19, who have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or who know that they have COVID-19, in such a manner as to prevent the spread of the disease. (isolement)
  • permanent resident has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (résident permanent)
  • protected person has the meaning assigned by subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (personne protégée)
  • quarantine means the separation of persons in such a manner as to prevent the possible spread of disease. (quarantaine)
  • quarantine facility means a place that is designated under section 7 of the Quarantine Act or that is deemed to be designated under subsection 8(2) of that Act. (installation de quarantaine)
  • signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever and a cough or a fever and difficulty breathing. (signes et symptômes de la COVID-19)
  • temporary resident has the meaning assigned by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (résident temporaire)
  • vulnerable person means a person who
    • (a) has an underlying medical condition that makes the person susceptible to complications relating to COVID-19;
    • (b) has a compromised immune system from a medical condition or treatment; or
    • (c) is 65 years of age or older. (personne vulnérable)

Persons Entering Canada

Requirement — questions and information

2 Every person who enters Canada must, during the 14-day period that begins on the day on which they enter Canada and any extension of that period under subsection 3(2) or 4(4),

  • (a) answer any relevant questions asked by a screening officer, quarantine officer or public health official designated under section 2.1, or asked on behalf of the Chief Public Health Officer, for the purposes of the administration of this Order; and
  • (b) provide to an officer or official referred to in paragraph (a) or the Chief Public Health Officer any information or record in the person’s possession that the officer, official or Chief Public Health Officer requires, in any manner that the officer, official or Chief Public Health Officer may reasonably request, for the purposes of the administration of this Order.

Designation

2.1 The Chief Public Health Officer may designate any person as a public health official for the purposes of section 2.

Mask or face covering

2.2 (1) Every person who enters Canada and who is required to quarantine or isolate themselves under this Order must, in the following circumstances, during the 14-day period that begins on the day on which they enter Canada and any extension of that period under subsection 3(2) or 4(4), wear a non-medical mask or face covering that a screening officer or quarantine officer considers suitable to minimize the risk of introducing or spreading COVID-19:

  • (a) while they are entering Canada; and
  • (b) while they are in transit to a place of quarantine or isolation, a health care facility or a place of departure from Canada, unless they are alone in a private vehicle.

Persons exempt from quarantine

(2) Every person who enters Canada and who, by virtue of section 6 or subsection 7.1(1), is not required to quarantine themselves must, during the 14-day period that begins on the day on which they enter Canada, if they are in public settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained, wear a non-medical mask or face covering that a screening officer or quarantine officer considers suitable to minimize the risk of introducing or spreading COVID-19.

Exception

(3) The requirements in this section do not apply if the mask or face covering needs to be removed for security or safety reasons.

Asymptomatic Persons

Requirements — asymptomatic persons

3 (1) Any person who enters Canada and who does not have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 must

  • (a) quarantine themselves without delay in accordance with instructions provided by a screening officer or a quarantine officer and remain in quarantine until the expiry of the 14-day period that begins on the day on which the person enters Canada; and
  • (b) monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 until the expiry of the 14-day period and, if they develop any signs and symptoms of COVID-19, follow instructions provided by the public health authority specified by a screening officer or quarantine officer.

Extension

(2) The 14-day period of quarantine and associated requirements of subsection (1) begin anew if, during that 14-day period, the person develops any signs and symptoms of COVID-19, is exposed to another person subject to this Order who exhibits signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19.

Unable to quarantine themselves

4 (1) A person referred to in section 3 is considered unable to quarantine themselves if the person cannot quarantine themselves for the 14-day period referred to in that section in a place

  • (a) that is considered suitable by the Chief Public Health Officer, having regard to the risk to public health posed by COVID-19, the likelihood or degree of exposure of the person to COVID-19 prior to entry to Canada, and any other factor that the Chief Public Health Officer considers relevant;
  • (b) where they will not be in contact with vulnerable persons, unless the vulnerable person is a consenting adult or is the parent or dependent child in a parent-dependent child relationship; and
  • (c) where they will have access to the necessities of life.

Requirements — quarantine at quarantine facility

(2) A person who, at the time of entry to Canada or at any other time during the 14-day period referred to in section 3 or any extension of it, is considered unable to quarantine themselves must

  • (a) if directed by a screening officer or quarantine officer, board any means of transportation provided by the Government of Canada for the purpose of transporting them to a quarantine facility, or transferring them between quarantine facilities, chosen by the Chief Public Health Officer;
  • (b) enter into quarantine without delay at the chosen quarantine facility and remain in quarantine at the facility — or at any other quarantine facility to which they are subsequently transferred — until the expiry of the 14-day period or any extension of it; and
  • (c) while they remain at a quarantine facility, undergo any health assessments that a quarantine officer requires.

Transfer

(3) A person referred to in subsection (2) may, with the authorization of a quarantine officer, leave a quarantine facility before the expiry of the 14-day period in order to quarantine themselves in accordance with the requirements of section 3 at a place that is considered suitable by the Chief Public Health Officer, taking into account the factors set out in paragraph (1)(a).

Extension

(4) The 14-day period of quarantine and associated requirements of subsection (2) begin anew if, during that 14-day period, the person develops any signs and symptoms of COVID-19, is exposed to another person subject to this Order who exhibits signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19.

Choice of quarantine facility

5 In choosing a quarantine facility for the purposes of subsection 4(2), the Chief Public Health Officer must consider the following factors:

  • (a) the risk to public health posed by COVID-19;
  • (b) the feasibility of controlling access to and egress from the quarantine facility;
  • (c) the capacity of the quarantine facility;
  • (d) the feasibility of quarantining persons;
  • (e) the likelihood or degree of exposure of the person to COVID-19 prior to entry to Canada; and
  • (f) any other factor that the Chief Public Health Officer considers relevant.

Exception — requirement to quarantine

6 The requirements referred to in paragraph 3(1)(a) and subsection 4(2) do not apply to

  • (a) a crew member as defined in subsection 101.01(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations or a person who enters Canada only to become such a crew member;
  • (b) a member of a crew as defined in subsection 3(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations or a person who enters Canada only to become such a crew member;
  • (c) a person who enters Canada at the invitation of the Minister of Health for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response;
  • (d) a member of the Canadian Forces or a visiting force, as defined in section 2 of the Visiting Forces Act, who enters Canada for the purpose of performing their duties as a member of either of those forces;
  • (e) a person or any person in a class of persons whom the Chief Public Health Officer determines will provide an essential service, as long as the person complies with any conditions imposed on them by the Chief Public Health Officer to minimize the risk of introduction or spread of COVID-19;
  • (f) a person or any person in a class of persons whose presence in Canada is determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to be in the national interest, as long as the person complies with any conditions imposed on them by the relevant Minister to minimize the risk of introduction or spread of COVID-19;
  • (g) a person who is permitted to work in Canada as a provider of emergency services under paragraph 186(t) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and who enters Canada for the purpose of providing those services;
  • (h) a person who enters Canada for the purpose of providing medical care, transporting essential medical equipment, supplies or means of treatment, or delivering, maintaining or repairing medically necessary equipment or devices, as long as they do not directly care for persons 65 years of age or older within the 14-day period that begins on the day on which the person enters Canada;
  • (i) a person who enters Canada for the purpose of receiving essential medical services or treatments within 36 hours of entering Canada, other than services or treatments related to COVID-19;
  • (j) a person permitted to work in Canada as a student in a health field under paragraph 186(p) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations who enters Canada for the purpose of performing their duties as a student in the health field, as long as they do not directly care for persons 65 years of age or older within the 14-day period that begins on the day on which the person enters Canada;
  • (k) a licensed health care professional with proof of employment in Canada who enters Canada for the purpose of performing their duties as a licensed health care professional, as long as they do not directly care for persons 65 years of age or older within the 14-day period that begins on the day on which the licensed professional enters Canada;
  • (l) a person, including a captain, deckhand, observer, inspector, scientist and any other person supporting commercial or research fishing-related activities, who enters Canada aboard a Canadian fishing vessel or a foreign fishing vessel as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, for the purpose of carrying out fishing or fishing-related activities, including offloading of fish, repairs, provisioning the vessel and exchange of crew;
  • (m) a person who enters Canada within the boundaries of an integrated trans-border community that exists on both sides of the Canada-United States border and who is a habitual resident of that community, if entering Canada is necessary for carrying out an everyday function within that community;
  • (n) a person who enters Canada if the entry is necessary to return to their habitual place of residence in Canada after carrying out an everyday function that, due to geographical constraints, must involve entering the United States; or
  • (o) a person who seeks to enter Canada on board a vessel, as defined in section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, that is engaged in research and that is operated by or under the authority of the Government of Canada or at its request or operated by a provincial government, a local authority or a government, council or other entity authorized to act on behalf of an Indigenous group, as long as the person remains on board the vessel.

Consultation with Minister of Health

6.1 Conditions that are imposed under paragraph 6(f) must be developed in consultation with the Minister of Health.

Exception — medical

7 (1) The requirements to remain in quarantine as referred to in paragraph 3(1)(a) and subsection 4(2), including the requirement to remain in quarantine as extended by subsection 3(2) or 4(4), do not apply for the duration of any medical emergency or essential medical services or treatments that requires a person to visit or be taken to a health care facility which, in the case of a person referred to in subsection 4(2), is outside the quarantine facility referred to in that subsection.

Exception — accompanying person

(1.1) If the person who needs to visit or be taken to a health care facility is a dependent child or requires assistance in accessing medical services or treatments, the exception in subsection (1) extends to one other person who accompanies the dependent child or the person requiring assistance.

Exception — other grounds

(2) The requirements to remain in quarantine as referred to in paragraph 3(1)(a) and subsection 4(2) do not apply to a person if

  • (a) the person becomes the subject of a provincial or local public health order that is inconsistent with those requirements;
  • (b) the requirement is inconsistent with another requirement imposed on them under the Quarantine Act; or
  • (c) the Chief Public Health Officer determines that the person or the class of persons that the person is in does not pose a risk of significant harm to public health, and as long as the person complies with any conditions imposed on them by the Chief Public Health Officer to minimize the risk of introduction or spread of COVID-19.

Exception — compassionate grounds

7.1 (1) The requirements to remain in quarantine as referred to in paragraph 3(1)(a) and subsection 4(2) do not apply to a person if the Minister of Health determines that the person will only leave quarantine for one of the following purposes and if the person only leaves quarantine to:

  • (a) attend to the death of or provide support to a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act who is residing in Canada and who is deemed to be critically ill by a licensed health care professional;
  • (b) provide care for a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act who is residing in Canada and who is deemed by a licensed health care professional to have a medical reason that they require support; or
  • (c) attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

Conditions

(2) The exception in subsection (1) applies as long as the person complies with any conditions imposed on them by the Minister of Health to minimize the risk of introduction or spread of COVID-19.

Exception — leaving Canada

8 A person who must quarantine themselves under section 3 or remain in quarantine under section 4 may leave Canada before the expiry of the 14-day quarantine period if they quarantine themselves until they depart from Canada.

Symptomatic Persons

Requirements — symptomatic persons

9 Any person who enters Canada and who has reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, who has signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or who knows that they have COVID-19 must

  • (a) isolate themselves without delay in accordance with instructions provided by a screening officer or a quarantine officer and remain in isolation until the expiry of the 14-day period that begins on the day on which the person enters Canada; and
  • (b) during the period of isolation, undergo any health assessments that a quarantine officer requires, monitor their signs and symptoms and report to the public health authority specified by a screening officer or quarantine officer if they require additional medical care.

Unable to isolate themselves

10 (1) A person referred to in section 9 is considered unable to isolate themselves for the 14-day period referred to in that section if they meet one of the following conditions:

  • (a) it is necessary for them to use a public means of transportation, including aircraft, bus, train, subway, taxi or ride-sharing service, to travel from the place where they enter Canada to the place where they will isolate themselves; or
  • (b) they cannot isolate themselves for the 14-day period in a place
    • (i) that is considered suitable by the Chief Public Health Officer, having regard to the risk to public health posed by COVID-19, the likelihood or degree of exposure of the person to COVID-19 prior to entry to Canada, and any other factor that the Chief Public Health Officer considers relevant,
    • (ii) where they will not be in contact with vulnerable persons, unless the vulnerable person is a consenting adult or is the parent or dependent child in a parent-dependent child relationship, and
    • (iii) where they will have access to the necessities of life.

Requirements — quarantine facility

(2) A person who, at the time of entry to Canada or at any other time during the 14-day period referred to in section 9, meets one of the conditions set out in paragraph (1)(a) or (b) must

  • (a) if directed by a screening officer or quarantine officer, board any means of transportation provided by the Government of Canada for the purpose of transporting them to a quarantine facility, or transferring them between quarantine facilities, chosen by the Chief Public Health Officer;
  • (b) enter into isolation without delay at the chosen quarantine facility and remain in isolation at the facility — or at any other quarantine facility to which they are subsequently transferred — until the expiry of the 14-day period; and
  • (c) while they remain at a quarantine facility, undergo any health assessments that a quarantine officer requires.

Transfer

(3) A person referred to in subsection (2) may, with the authorization of a quarantine officer, leave a quarantine facility before the expiry of the 14-day period in order to isolate themselves in accordance with the requirements of section 9 at a place that is considered suitable by the Chief Public Health Officer, taking into account the factors set out in subparagraph (1)(b)(i).

Choice of quarantine facility

11 In choosing a quarantine facility for the purposes of subsection 10(2), the Chief Public Health Officer must consider the following factors:

  • (a) the risk to public health posed by COVID-19;
  • (b) the feasibility of controlling access to and egress from the quarantine facility;
  • (c) the capacity of the quarantine facility;
  • (d) the feasibility of isolating persons;
  • (e) the likelihood or degree of exposure of the person to COVID-19 prior to entry to Canada; and
  • (f) any other factor that the Chief Public Health Officer considers relevant.

Exception — medical

12 (1) The requirements to remain in isolation as referred to in paragraph 9(a) and subsection 10(2) do not apply for the duration of any medical emergency or essential medical services or treatments that requires a person to visit or be taken to a health care facility which, in the case of a person referred to in subsection 10(2), is outside the quarantine facility referred to in that subsection.

Exception — accompanying person

(1.1) If the person who needs to visit or be taken to a health care facility is a dependent child, the exception in subsection (1) extends to one other person who accompanies the dependent child.

Exception — other grounds

(2) The requirements to remain in isolation as referred to in paragraph 9(a) and subsection 10(2) do not apply to a person if

  • (a) the person becomes the subject of a provincial or local public health order that is inconsistent with those requirements;
  • (b) the requirement is inconsistent with another requirement imposed on them under the Quarantine Act; or
  • (c) the Chief Public Health Officer determines that the person does not pose a risk of significant harm to public health.

Exception — leaving Canada

13 A person who must isolate themselves under section 9 or remain in isolation under section 10 may, at the discretion and in accordance with the instructions of a quarantine officer, leave Canada before the expiry of the 14-day isolation period if they isolate themselves until they depart from Canada in a private conveyance.

Powers and Obligations

Powers and obligations

14 For greater certainty,

  • (a) this Order does not affect any of the powers and obligations set out in the Quarantine Act;
  • (b) this Order may be administered using electronic means; and
  • (c) the instructions to be followed under paragraphs 3(1)(a) and (b) and 9(a) include instructions that are provided after the time of entry into Canada.

Repeal

15 The Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation), No. 5footnote 1 is repealed.

Effective Period

Until October 31, 2020

16 This Order has effect for the period beginning at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern daylight time on the day on which it is made and ending at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern daylight time on October 31, 2020.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

This Order in Council, entitled Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation), No. 6, is made pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act.

The Order repeals the Order in Council P.C. 2020-689 entitled Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation), No. 5, which came into force on September 28, 2020.

This Order complements the Orders in Council entitled Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country other than the United States) and Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States).

This Order will be in effect from 11:59:59 p.m., Eastern daylight time, on the date it is made until 11:59:59 p.m., Eastern daylight time, October 31, 2020.

Objective

This Order supports Canada’s continued focus on reducing the introduction and further spread of COVID-19 by decreasing the risk of importing cases from outside the country. The order maintains the previous Order requirements that all persons who enter Canada, whether by air, land, rail and sea, are required to quarantine or isolate for 14 days from the day upon which they entered Canada, with some exceptions.

This Order is amended from the previous version to now allow asymptomatic travellers a temporary exemption from quarantine for certain compassionate reasons. To allow a person to leave quarantine for a period, the Minister of Health must determine that a person’s purpose for leaving their place of quarantine is to attend to the death of or provide support to a person who is deemed to be critically ill, to provide direct care to an individual with a recognized medical need, or to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony. For the exemption to apply, incoming travellers must have preauthorization from the Minister based upon supporting documentation and must follow any conditions put in place to mitigate the potential introduction or spread of COVID-19. The Minister may impose conditions on any person who has been granted a compassionate grounds exemption.

The Order now also expressly provides that exemptions based on the determinations of the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) only apply if the person complies with any condition imposed on them by the CPHO to minimize the introduction or spread of COVID-19. In addition, to respect the needs of all Canadians, where previously the Order referred to a “minor,” the language has been revised to the more inclusive term “dependent child.”

Background

COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus capable of causing severe illness, named the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is part of a family of viruses that includes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The disease is caused by a new strain of coronavirus never before seen in humans. Therefore, information about the virus, how it causes disease, whom it affects, and how to appropriately treat or prevent illness has been limited and based on best practices approaches to coronaviruses at large. Originally seen to be a local outbreak, COVID-19 has now affected the majority of countries across the globe. The science about the virus is still evolving.

Coronaviruses are spread among humans primarily through the inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets (e.g. when an infected individual coughs or sneezes) or through contact with objects or surfaces contaminated by infectious droplets. Human-to-human transmission is the main driving force of the current COVID-19 outbreak and is exacerbated by a lack of immunity in the general population.

COVID-19 has been clearly demonstrated to be a severe, life-threatening respiratory disease. Patients with COVID-19 present symptoms that may include fever, malaise, dry cough, shortness of breath, and damage to the lungs. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. Older individuals and those with a weakened immune system or an underlying medical condition have been seen to be at a higher risk of severe disease. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is currently estimated to be up to 14 days, with an average of 5 days. No vaccine is available to protect Canadians from COVID-19. Current treatment is supportive, aimed at relief of symptoms and treatment of associated medical complications.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared an outbreak of what is now known as COVID-19 to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020, and a pandemic on March 11, 2020. COVID-19 has demonstrated that it can cause widespread illness if not properly contained. Global efforts are focused on identification of cases and the prevention of further spread. If widespread disease occurs in Canada, the health system could be overwhelmed, further increasing negative health impacts.

Government of Canada response to COVID-19 pandemic

The Government of Canada’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians. To limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada, the Government of Canada has taken unprecedented action to implement a comprehensive strategy with layers of precautionary measures. Measures include, for example, the establishment of a more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund, restrictions on entry into Canada for optional or discretionary travel, restrictions on cruise ship travel in Canada, and mandatory quarantine and isolation measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

Together, these measures have been effective. For instance, by limiting incoming travel to Canada and requiring mandatory isolation and quarantine, the Government of Canada has reduced travel-related infections to low numbers. While these measures cannot prevent COVID-19 from crossing the borders, they are effective at reducing the risk that community transmission will occur due to international travel.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Government of Canada is continuing to evaluate the latest science and situational assessments of what is occurring in various jurisdictions across Canada and internationally when considering any changes to border restrictions or border measures. All changes to international travel restrictions and advice are based on national and international evidence-based risk assessments. At this time, travel continues to present a risk of imported cases and increases the potential for onward community transmission of COVID-19, because some countries are starting to see confirmed cases and deaths fall following strict lockdown restrictions, while others are still seeing figures rise.

The global number of cases of COVID-19 is rising at an accelerated pace, with sharp increases in cases in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The number of cases of COVID-19 in the United States also remains high. The WHO has also warned countries to prepare for new outbreaks, especially in areas where lockdowns have been eased. As of September 29, 2020, there were 7 148 044 detected cases in the United States, 6 145 291 detected cases in India and 4 745 464 detected cases in Brazil. Canada has seen recent travel-related cases resulting from incoming travellers from India.

There remains significant potential for a resurgence of travel-related cases in Canada if the COVID-19 measures were to be relaxed. The Government is seeking to enhance the role of laboratory testing at ports of entry as part of a multi-layered approach to reduce the risk of importation. At this time, it has been determined that taking less restrictive measures, such as easing entry prohibitions or quarantine requirements, would not appropriately protect the health of Canadians.

Entry prohibitions coupled with mandatory isolation and quarantine remain the most effective means of limiting the introduction of new cases of COVID-19 into Canada. With some countries easing COVID-19 protection measures and the risk of new cases likely increasing as a result, the Government of Canada is taking a precautionary approach to maintain the current quarantine requirements at this time.

The Government recognizes that Canadians have been working hard to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission, and that entry prohibitions and mandatory quarantine requirements place significant burden on the friends and families of Canadians in emotional circumstances such as the death or palliative care of a loved one. Without removing the requirement to enter quarantine for 14 days upon entry into Canada, the Order now permits persons authorized by the Minister of Health to temporarily leave quarantine to attend to these compassionate matters.

By generally maintaining existing requirements and introducing conditions for those who may need to leave quarantine temporarily for a compassionate reason, Canada will continue to reduce the entry of COVID-19 linked to travellers entering Canada to the extent possible. Without these measures, travel-related COVID-19 transmission is likely to increase the number of documented cases in Canada.

Implications

Key impacts for persons entering Canada

As was the case under previous orders, every person who enters Canada must answer any relevant questions asked of them and provide any information or record required, in any manner it may be reasonably requested, for the purposes of administration of this Order. Individuals will continue to be asked to confirm that they have a suitable location in which to either isolate or quarantine, that does not expose them to non-consenting vulnerable persons and provides them with access to the necessities of life.

All persons who are required to quarantine or isolate will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering upon entering Canada and while in transit throughout the 14-day quarantine or isolation period, as applicable. Persons who are exempt from quarantine requirements, including those exempted on compassionate grounds, will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when they are in public settings when physical distancing is not possible. The Order will continue to require all symptomatic persons who enter Canada to isolate and asymptomatic persons to quarantine for 14 days beginning on the day they enter Canada (subject to extension), with some limited exceptions.

Asymptomatic persons who have received prior authorization from the Minister of Health may temporarily leave quarantine, in accordance with any conditions set out in the determination, for compassionate reasons including to attend to the death of or provide support to a person deemed to be critically ill, to provide direct care to an individual with a recognized medical need or to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony. In such circumstances, documentation to support the compassionate request must be provided by the traveller as part of the authorization request process. Failure to comply with any conditions set out in the exemption may result in fines or penalties under the Quarantine Act, and/or actions under other legislation such as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Order continues to provide that persons may leave quarantine or isolation to go to a health care facility in the event of a medical emergency or to receive essential medical services. If such person is in quarantine and is a dependent child or person requiring assistance, the Order provides that a person needed to accompany them may also leave quarantine, provided they continue to comply with other requirements (i.e. wearing a mask). If such a person is in isolation and is a dependent child, one other person may also leave isolation to accompany them.

Penalties

Failure to comply with this Order and other related measures under the Quarantine Act are offences under the Act. The maximum penalties are a fine of up to $1,000,000 and/or imprisonment for three years, or both. In addition, tickets of up to $1,000 may also be issued for non-compliance pursuant to the Contraventions Act.

Consultation

The Government of Canada has engaged provinces and territories to coordinate efforts and implementation plans. In addition, there has been consultation across multiple government departments, including the Canada Border Services Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Transport Canada, Public Safety Canada, and Global Affairs Canada, given linkages to other statutory instruments.

Contact

Kimby Barton
Public Health Agency of Canada
Telephone: 613‑960‑6637
Email: kimby.barton@canada.ca

PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA

QUARANTINE ACT

Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)

P.C. 2020-796 October 7, 2020

Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that

  • (a) based on the declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, there is an outbreak of a communicable disease, namely coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), in the majority of foreign countries;
  • (b) the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health in Canada;
  • (c) the entry of persons into Canada who have recently been in a foreign country may introduce or contribute to the spread of the disease in Canada; and
  • (d) no reasonable alternatives to prevent the introduction or spread of the disease are available;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act footnote a, makes the annexed Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States).

Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States)

Definitions

1 The following definitions apply in this Order.

  • Chief Public Health Officer means the Chief Public Health Officer appointed under subsection 6(1) of the Public Health Agency of Canada Act. (administrateur en chef)
  • common-law partner has the same meaning as in subsection 1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. (conjoint de fait)
  • dependent child has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. (enfant à charge)
  • extended family member, in respect of a person, means
    • (a) an individual who is in an exclusive dating relationship with the person, has been in such a relationship for at least one year and has spent time in the physical presence of the person during the course of the relationship;
    • (b) a dependent child of the person referred to in paragraph (a);
    • (c) a child of the person or of the person’s spouse, common-law partner or the person referred to in paragraph (a) other than a dependent child;
    • (d) a dependent child of a child referred to in paragraph (c);
    • (e) a sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; or
    • (f) a grandparent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner. (membre de la famille élargie)
  • foreign national has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (étranger)
  • immediate family member, in respect of a person, means
    • (a) the spouse or common-law partner of the person;
    • (b) a dependent child of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
    • (c) a dependent child of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b);
    • (d) the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; or
    • (e) the guardian or tutor of the person. (membre de la famille immédiate)
  • permanent resident has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (résident permanent)
  • protected person has the meaning assigned by subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (personne protégée)
  • temporary resident has the meaning assigned by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (résident temporaire)

Prohibition

2 Any foreign national is prohibited from entering Canada if they arrive from a foreign country other than the United States.

Non-application

3 (1) Section 2 does not apply to

  • (a) an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident;
  • (a.1) an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident if they
    • (i) have a statutory declaration attesting to their relationship with the Canadian citizen or permanent resident that is signed by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and
    • (ii) are authorized, in writing, by an officer designated under subsection 6(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, to enter Canada;
  • (b) a person who is authorized, in writing, by an officer designated under subsection 6(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, to enter Canada for the purpose of reuniting immediate family members;
  • (c) a crew member as defined in subsection 101.01(1) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations or a person who seeks to enter Canada only to become such a crew member;
  • (d) a member of a crew as defined in subsection 3(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations or a person who seeks to enter Canada only to become such a member of a crew;
  • (e) a person who is exempt from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa under paragraph 190(2)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the immediate family members of that person;
  • (f) a person who seeks to enter Canada at the invitation of the Minister of Health for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response;
  • (g) a person who arrives by any means of a conveyance operated by the Canadian Forces or the Department of National Defence;
  • (h) a member of the Canadian Forces or a visiting force, as defined in section 2 of the Visiting Forces Act, and the immediate family members of that member;
  • (i) a French citizen who resides in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and has been only in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, the United States or Canada during the period of 14 days before the day on which they arrived in Canada;
  • (j) a person or any person in a class of persons who, as determined by the Chief Public Health Officer
    • (i) does not pose a risk of significant harm to public health, or
    • (ii) will provide an essential service while in Canada;
  • (k) a person or any person in a class of persons whose presence in Canada, as determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, is in the national interest;
  • (l) the holder of a valid work permit as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;
  • (m) a person whose application for a work permit referred to in paragraph (l) was approved under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and who has received written notice of the approval, but who has not yet been issued the permit;
  • (m.1) a person who holds a study permit, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a person whose application for a study permit was approved under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and who received written notice of the approval before noon, Eastern Daylight Time on March 18, 2020, but who has not yet been issued the permit;
  • (n) a person who seeks to enter Canada for the purpose of attending a listed institution, and the immediate family members of that person other than a dependent child of a dependent child of the person, if the person holds a valid study permit, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, if the person may apply for a study permit when entering Canada under section 214 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or if the person’s application for a study permit was approved under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and they received written notice of the approval but have not yet been issued the permit;
  • (o) a person permitted to work in Canada as a student in a health field under paragraph 186(p) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;
  • (p) a person permitted to work in Canada as a provider of emergency services under paragraph 186(t) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;
  • (q) a licensed health care professional with proof of employment in Canada;
  • (r) a person who seeks to enter Canada for the purpose of delivering, maintaining or repairing medically necessary equipment or devices;
  • (s) a person who seeks to enter Canada for the purpose of donating or making medical deliveries of stem cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs or other body parts that are required for patient care in Canada during the validity of the Order or within a reasonable period of time after the expiry of the Order;
  • (t) a person whose application for permanent residence was approved under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and who received written notice of the approval before noon, Eastern Daylight Time on March 18, 2020, but who has not yet become a permanent resident under that Act;
  • (u) a worker in the marine transportation sector who is essential for the movement of goods by vessel, as defined in section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, and who seeks to enter Canada for the purpose of performing their duties in that sector;
  • (v) a person who seeks to enter Canada to take up a post as a diplomat, consular officer, representative or official of a country other than Canada, of the United Nations or any of its agencies or of any intergovernmental organization of which Canada is a member and the immediate family members of that person;
  • (w) a person who arrives at a Canadian airport aboard a commercial passenger conveyance and who is transiting to a country other than Canada and remains in a sterile transit area, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations; or
  • (x) a person who seeks to enter Canada on board a vessel, as defined in section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, that is engaged in research and that is operated by or under the authority of the Government of Canada or at its request or operated by a provincial government, a local authority or a government, council or other entity authorized to act on behalf of an Indigenous group.

Listed institution

(1.1) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(n), a listed institution is an institution that is

  • (a) determined, by a government of a province in which the institution is located, to have appropriate measures in place to ensure that the students who attend the institution can meet applicable obligations under any order made under section 58 of the Quarantine Act with respect to mandatory isolation or quarantine; and
  • (b) included in a list that is published by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration on its website, as amended from time to time, for the purposes of this Order.

Exception — signs and symptoms

(2) A foreign national is prohibited from entering Canada from a country other than the United States if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, if they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever and cough or a fever and breathing difficulties, or if they know they have COVID-19.

Exception — optional or discretionary purpose

(3) Despite subsection (1), a foreign national who seeks to enter Canada for an optional or discretionary purpose, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment, is prohibited from entering Canada from a foreign country other than the United States.

Non-application — immediate family member

(4) Subsection (3) does not apply to a foreign national who is an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident if the foreign national intends to enter Canada to be with their immediate family member who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and can demonstrate their intent to stay in Canada for a period of at least 15 days.

Non-application — extended family member

(4.1) Subsection (3) does not apply to a foreign national who is an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident if the foreign national intends to enter Canada to be with their extended family member who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and can demonstrate their intent to stay in Canada for a period of at least 15 days.

Non-application — national interest

(5) Subsection (3) does not apply to a foreign national referred to in paragraph (1)(k).

Non-application — compassionate grounds

3.1 Section 2 and subsection 3(3) do not apply to a foreign national who, as determined by the Minister of Health, intends to enter Canada to

  • (a) attend to the death of or provide support to a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person, or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act who is residing in Canada and who is deemed by a licensed health care professional to be critically ill;
  • (b) provide care for a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person, or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act who is residing in Canada and who is deemed by a licensed health care professional to have a medical reason as to why they require support; or
  • (c) attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

Non-application — order

4 This Order does not apply to

  • (a) a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act;
  • (b) a protected person; or
  • (c) a person who enters Canadian waters, including the inland waters, or the airspace over Canada on board a conveyance while proceeding directly from one place outside Canada and leaves Canada to another place outside Canada on board the conveyance, as long as the person was continuously on board that conveyance while in Canada and, in the case of a conveyance other than an aircraft, the person did not land in Canada and the conveyance did not make contact with another conveyance, moor or anchor while in Canadian waters, including the inland waters, other than anchoring carried out in accordance with the right of innocent passage under international law and, in the case of an aircraft, the conveyance did not land while in Canada.

Powers and obligations

5 For greater certainty, this Order does not affect any of the powers and obligations set out in the Quarantine Act.

Repeal

6 The Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any Country Other than the United States) footnote 2 is repealed.

Effective period

7 (1) This Order, except paragraphs 3(1)(m.1) and (n) and subsection 3(1.1), has effect for the period beginning at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the day on which it is made and ending at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 31, 2020.

Paragraph 3(1)(m.1)

(2) Paragraph 3(1)(m.1) has effect for the period beginning at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the day on which this Order is made and ending at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 20, 2020.

Paragraph 3(1)(n) and subsection 3(1.1)

(3) Paragraph 3(1)(n) and subsection 3(1.1) have effect for the period beginning at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 20, 2020, and ending at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 31, 2020.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

This Order in Council, entitled Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from any country other than the United States), is made pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act.

The Order repeals and replaces Order in Council P.C. 2020-688 of the same name, which came into force on September 28, 2020.

The new Order complements any Order made under the Quarantine Act imposing isolation or quarantine requirements upon entry into the country.

This Order will be in effect from 11:59:59 p.m., Eastern daylight time, on the date it is made until 11:59:59 p.m., Eastern daylight time, October 31, 2020.

Objective

This Order furthers Canada’s continued focus on reducing the introduction and further spread of COVID-19 by decreasing the risk of importing cases from outside the country. While new exemptions to the prohibition on entry for travellers have been included, the Order generally continues to prohibit entry into Canada of foreign nationals arriving from countries other than the United States unless they meet a specified list of exemptions. Even those who are exempted from the general prohibition may not enter if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, if they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or know they have COVID-19.

The updated Order also now permits entry to a foreign national who meets the definition of extended family member, and who is authorized to do so, in writing, by an officer designated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. In addition, the Order authorizes the Minister of Health to allow entry to foreign nationals seeking to attend to the death of or provide support to a person deemed to be critically ill, to provide care to an individual with a recognized medical need or to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

The Order also creates a new exemption that will come into effect October 20, 2020, at 11:59:59 p.m., Eastern daylight time, which permits entry to a foreign national who holds a valid study permit, provided their institution of study has been determined by a province or territory to have appropriate public health measures in place such that international students can meet their obligations for quarantine under the mandatory isolation Order. When this new exemption comes into effect, the existing exemption from the prohibition on entry for a foreign national who holds a study permit approved before March 18, 2020, will cease to have effect.

Background

COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus capable of causing severe illness, named the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is part of a family of viruses that includes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The disease is caused by a new strain of coronavirus never before seen in humans. Therefore, information about the virus, how it causes disease, whom it affects, and how to appropriately treat or prevent illness has been limited and based on best practices approaches to coronaviruses at large. Originally seen to be a local outbreak, COVID-19 has now affected the majority of countries around the globe. The science surrounding the virus is still evolving.

Coronaviruses are spread among humans primarily through the inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets (e.g. when an infected individual coughs or sneezes) or through contact with objects or surfaces contaminated by infectious droplets. Human-to-human transmission is the main driving force of the current COVID-19 outbreak and is exacerbated by a lack of immunity in the general population.

COVID-19 has been clearly demonstrated to be a severe, life-threatening respiratory disease. Patients with COVID-19 present symptoms that may include fever, malaise, dry cough, shortness of breath, and damage to the lungs. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. Older individuals and those with a weakened immune system or an underlying medical condition have been seen to be at a higher risk of severe disease. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is currently estimated to be up to 14 days, with an average of 5 days. No vaccine is available to protect Canadians from COVID-19. Current treatment is supportive, aimed at relief of symptoms and treatment of associated medical complications.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared an outbreak of what is now known as COVID-19 to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020, and a pandemic on March 11, 2020. COVID-19 has demonstrated that it can cause widespread illness if not properly contained. Global efforts are focused on identification of cases and the prevention of further spread. If widespread disease occurs in Canada, the health system could be overwhelmed, further increasing negative health impacts.

Government of Canada response to COVID-19 pandemic

The Government of Canada’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians. To limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada, the Government of Canada continues to take unprecedented action to implement a comprehensive strategy with layers of precautionary measures. Measures include restrictions on entry into Canada for optional or discretionary travel, restrictions on cruise ship travel in Canada, and mandatory quarantine and isolation measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

Together, these measures have been effective. For instance, by limiting incoming travel to Canada and requiring mandatory isolation and quarantine, the Government of Canada has reduced travel-related infections to low numbers. While these measures cannot prevent COVID-19 from crossing the borders, they are effective at reducing the risk that community transmission will occur due to international travel.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Government of Canada is continuing to evaluate the latest science and situational assessments of what is occurring in various jurisdictions across Canada and internationally when considering any changes to border restrictions or border measures. All changes to international travel restrictions and advice are based on national and international evidence-based risk assessments. The Government is considering the option of opening Canada’s borders to lower risk countries as part of its COVID-19 recovery planning. There is no current internationally accepted standard for assessing a country’s COVID-19 risk. Some countries that have eased border measures have then needed to reinstate measures, causing uncertainty for travellers and industry. For example, the United Kingdom lifted its travel advisory against non-essential travel to destinations in Europe and beyond, including to Canada (even though Canada continues to have a quarantine requirement); however, country lists drawn up by the United Kingdom have lacked stability, with more than 50 changes (countries added and removed) since implementation. On August 13, 2020, the United Kingdom posted changes coming into effect within two days whereby 14-day quarantine has been reinstated for travellers returning after this time.

Based on current review of international experience, at this time, easing travel restrictions would continue to present an unacceptable risk of imported cases and increases the potential for onward community transmission of COVID-19. This is because, while some countries are starting to see confirmed cases and deaths fall following strict lockdown restrictions, others are still seeing figures rise. Some countries that were believed to have controlled the outbreak, including Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, are starting to see resurgences in cases.

The global number of cases of COVID-19 is rising at an accelerated pace, with sharp increases in cases in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The number of cases of COVID-19 in the United States also remains high. The WHO has also warned countries to prepare for new outbreaks, especially in areas where lockdowns have been eased. As of September 29, 2020, there were 7 148 044 detected cases in the United States, 6 145 291 detected cases in India, and 4 745 464 detected cases in Brazil. Canada has seen recent travel-related cases resulting from incoming travellers from India.

There remains significant potential for a resurgence of travel-related cases in Canada if the border entry prohibitions were to be lifted. Adequate scientific support for the role of laboratory testing as part of a multi-layered approach to reduce the risk of importation or to ease quarantine measures is not yet available. Opportunities to develop this necessary evidence are being actively explored.

The Government recognizes that Canadians have been working hard to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission, and that entry prohibitions and mandatory quarantine requirements place significant burden on the Canadian economy, Canadians, their immediate and extended families and on those seeking to study in Canada. By working closely with provinces and territories, the Government has identified a process to allow entry of international students and their immediate family members in a controlled and phased manner, based on information that may change over time.

Implications

Key impacts for travellers

By limiting the number of incoming foreign nationals, Canada has taken strict border measures to limit the risk of the introduction or spread of COVID-19 transmitted via travellers from foreign countries, while maintaining critical services and support necessary for Canada.

This Order will continue to generally prohibit foreign nationals from entering Canada from countries other than the United States, unless they meet a specified list of exemptions and are entering for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes, or are immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and entering Canada to be with that person for at least 15 days.

Foreign nationals travelling for any purpose will continue to be denied entry into Canada if they have COVID-19, have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19 or are exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19, subject to certain narrow exemptions. The enforcement of the prohibition on entry for foreign nationals who arrive exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, despite having appeared healthy prior to boarding an aircraft or vessel, may be deferred to the extent required to maintain public health and ensure the safety of the commercial transportation system.

The new Order has been updated to permit the entry of extended family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, who meet the definition of extended family member and who are authorized to enter, in writing, by an officer designated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Such an extended family member must either be entering for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes, or entering Canada to be with that Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least 15 days. Extended family members include an individual who has been in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least one year and has spent time in the physical presence of the person during the course of the relationship; a dependent child of such a dating partner; an adult child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or of their spouse, common-law partner or dating partner, and their dependent children; a sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or their spouse or common-law partner; or a grandparent of a Canadian citizen or of their spouse or common-law partner.

The exemption from the prohibition on entry for international students has also been amended. The updated Order maintains the exemption for a person who holds a study permit received or approved before March 18, 2020, until October 20, 2020. A new cohort of international students will soon be permitted entry into Canada for the purpose of attending an institution determined by the province or territory where the institution is located to have appropriate measures in place to ensure its students can meet their obligations under the Quarantine Act, including mandatory isolation or quarantine. The list of institutions will be published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on its website, and amended from time to time. The new exemption from the prohibition on entry for international students comes into effect October 20, 2020, at 11:59:59 p.m., Eastern daylight time. Immediate family members of international students — excluding a dependent child of a dependent child of the person (grandchild) — will also be permitted to enter provided all other requirements are met, including passing the non-optional/non-discretionary purpose test.

The Order has also been updated to provide that a foreign national may enter Canada if the Minister of Health determines that they intend to enter Canada to attend to the death of or provide support to a resident of Canada who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act and has been deemed by a licensed health care professional to be critically ill. A foreign national may also enter Canada to provide care to such residents having a recognized medical need, or to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony. Upon entry into Canada, all persons become subject to any Order made under the Quarantine Act imposing isolation or quarantine requirements.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the prohibition on entry into Canada has significantly impacted the Canadian economy. However, the measures taken by the Government of Canada continue to be necessary to address the serious health threat posed by COVID-19.

Penalties

Failure to comply with this Order and other related measures under the Quarantine Act are offences under the Act. The maximum penalties are a fine of up to $1,000,000 or imprisonment for three years, or both.

Consultation

The Government of Canada has engaged provinces and territories to coordinate efforts and implementation plans. In addition, there has been consultation across multiple government departments, including the Canada Border Services Agency; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Transport Canada; Public Safety Canada; and Global Affairs Canada, given linkages to other statutory instruments.

Contact

Kimby Barton
Public Health Agency of Canada
Telephone: 613‑960‑6637
Email: kimby.barton@canada.ca

PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY OF CANADA

QUARANTINE ACT

Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)

P.C. 2020-795 October 7, 2020

Whereas the Governor in Council is of the opinion that

  • (a) based on the declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, there is an outbreak of a communicable disease, namely coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), in the majority of foreign countries;
  • (b) the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health in Canada;
  • (c) the entry of persons into Canada who have recently been in a foreign country may introduce or contribute to the spread of the disease in Canada; and
  • (d) no reasonable alternatives to prevent the introduction or spread of the disease are available;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Actfootnote a makes the annexed Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States).

Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)

Definitions

1 The following definitions apply in this Order.

  • Chief Public Health Officer means the Chief Public Health Officer appointed under subsection 6(1) of the Public Health Agency of Canada Act. (administrateur en chef)
  • common-law partner has the same meaning as in subsection 1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. (conjoint de fait)
  • dependent child has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. (enfant à charge)
  • extended family member, in respect of a person, means
    • (a) an individual who is in an exclusive dating relationship with the person, has been in such a relationship for at least one year, and has spent time in the physical presence of the person during the course of the relationship;
    • (b) a dependent child of the person referred to in paragraph (a);
    • (c) a child of the person or of the person’s spouse, common-law partner or the person referred to in paragraph (a) other than a dependent child;
    • (d) a dependent child of a child referred to in paragraph (c);
    • (e) a sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; or
    • (f) a grandparent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner. (membre de la famille élargie)
  • foreign national has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (étranger)
  • immediate family member, in respect of a person, means
    • (a) the spouse or common-law partner of the person;
    • (b) a dependent child of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
    • (c) a dependent child of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b);
    • (d) the parent or step-parent of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; or
    • (e) the guardian or tutor of the person. (membre de la famille immédiate)
  • permanent resident has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (résident permanent)
  • protected person has the meaning assigned by subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (personne protégée)
  • temporary resident has the meaning assigned by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (résident temporaire)

Prohibition — signs and symptoms

2 (1) A foreign national is prohibited from entering Canada from the United States if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, if they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever and cough or a fever and breathing difficulties, or if they know they have COVID-19.

Non-application — certain persons

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to persons referred to in subsection 5(1) or (2) who seek to enter Canada from the United States for the purpose of making a claim for refugee protection.

Prohibition — optional or discretionary purpose

3 (1) A foreign national is prohibited from entering Canada from the United States if they seek to enter for an optional or discretionary purpose, such as tourism, recreation or entertainment.

Non-application — immediate family member

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a foreign national who is an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident if the foreign national intends to enter Canada to be with their immediate family member who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and can demonstrate their intent to stay in Canada for a period of at least 15 days.

Non-application — extended family member

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a foreign national who is an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident if the foreign national

  • (a) intends to enter Canada to be with their extended family member who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and can demonstrate their intent to stay in Canada for a period of at least 15 days;
  • (b) has a statutory declaration attesting to their relationship with the Canadian citizen or permanent resident that is signed by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • (c) is authorized, in writing, by an officer designated under subsection 6(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to enter Canada for the purpose referred to in paragraph (a).

Prohibition — extended family member

3.1 A foreign national who is an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and who seeks to enter Canada for a purpose related to their extended family is prohibited from entering Canada from the United States unless the foreign national

  • (a) has a statutory declaration attesting to their relationship with the Canadian citizen or permanent resident that is signed by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • (b) is authorized, in writing, by an officer designated under subsection 6(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to enter Canada for that purpose.

Prohibition — unable to meet quarantine requirement

4 (1) A foreign national is prohibited from entering Canada from the United States if, based on the purpose of entry and the length of their stay, the applicable requirement to quarantine under any order made under section 58 of the Quarantine Act with respect to mandatory isolation or quarantine cannot be complied with.

Non-application — certain persons

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to persons referred to in subsections 5(1) or (2) who seek to enter Canada from the United States for the purpose of making a claim for refugee protection.

Prohibition — claim for refugee protection

5 (1) A foreign national is prohibited from entering Canada from the United States for the purpose of making a claim for refugee protection unless the person

  • (a) seeks to enter Canada at a land port of entry designated by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness under section 26 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and
    • (i) is a claimant referred to in section 159.2, 159.5 or 159.6 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or
    • (ii) is a citizen of the United States; or
  • (b) is a person or any person in a class of persons whose presence in Canada is determined by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness or the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to be in the national or public interest, while recognizing the paramount public health interests of Canada and Canadians.

Non-application — certain persons

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the following persons who seek to enter Canada at any place referred to in paragraph 159.4(1)(a), (b) or (c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations:

  • (a) a citizen of the United States;
  • (b) a stateless habitual resident of the United States; or
  • (c) a person who
    • (i) has not attained the age of 18 years and is not accompanied by their mother, father or legal guardian within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations,
    • (ii) has neither a spouse nor a common-law partner within the meaning of those Regulations, and
    • (iii) has neither a mother or father nor a legal guardian within the meaning of those Regulations in the United States.

Prohibition — international students

5.1 (1) A person who holds a valid study permit as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, who may apply for a study permit when entering Canada under section 214 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations or whose application for a study permit was approved under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and who received written notice of the approval but who has not yet been issued the permit, is prohibited from entering Canada from the United States for the purpose of attending an institution other than a listed institution.

Listed institution

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a listed institution is an institution that is

  • (a) determined, by a government of a province in which the institution is located, to have appropriate measures in place to ensure that the students who attend the institution can meet applicable obligations under any order made under section 58 of the Quarantine Act with respect to mandatory isolation or quarantine; and
  • (b) included in a list that is published by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration on its website, as amended from time to time, for the purposes of this Order.

Non-application — compassionate grounds

5.2 Subsection 3(1), section 3.1. and subsection 4(1) do not apply to a foreign national who, as determined by the Minister of Health, intends to enter Canada to

  • (a) attend to the death of or provide support to a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person, or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act who is residing in Canada and who is deemed by a licensed health care professional to be critically ill;
  • (b) provide care for a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person, or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act who is residing in Canada and who is deemed by a licensed health care professional to have a medical reason as to why they require support; or
  • (c) attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

Non-application — Order

6 This Order does not apply to

  • (a) a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act;
  • (b) a person who, as determined by the Chief Public Health Officer, does not pose a risk of significant harm to public health;
  • (c) a protected person; or
  • (d) a person who enters Canadian waters, including the inland waters, or the airspace over Canada on board a conveyance while proceeding directly from one place outside Canada and leaves Canada to another place outside Canada on board the conveyance, as long as the person was continuously on board that conveyance while in Canada and, in the case of a conveyance other than an aircraft, the person did not land in Canada and the conveyance did not make contact with another conveyance, moor or anchor while in Canadian waters, including the inland waters, other than anchoring carried out in accordance with the right of innocent passage under international law and, in the case of an aircraft, the conveyance did not land while in Canada.

Powers and obligations

7 For greater certainty, this Order does not affect any of the powers and obligations set out in the Quarantine Act.

Repeal

8 The Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)footnote 3 is repealed.

Effective period

9 (1) This Order, except section 5.1, has effect for the period beginning at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the day on which it is made and ending at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 21, 2020.

Section 5.1

(2) Section 5.1 has effect for the period beginning at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 20, 2020, and ending at 23:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 21, 2020.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Proposal

This Order in Council, entitled Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States), is made pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act.

The Order repeals and replaces Order in Council P.C. 2020-672 of the same name, which came into force on September 20, 2020.

The new Order complements any Order made under the Quarantine Act imposing isolation or quarantine requirements upon entry into the country.

This Order will be in effect from 23:59:59, Eastern daylight time, on the date it is made until 23:59:59, Eastern daylight time, October 21, 2020.

Objective

This Order furthers Canada’s continued focus on reducing the introduction and spread of COVID-19 by decreasing the risk of importing cases from outside the country. The Order continues to prohibit entry into Canada of foreign nationals arriving from the United States for an optional or discretionary purpose, with some limited exceptions. Even those who are exempted from the prohibition may not enter if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19, if they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or if they know they have COVID-19.

Under the updated Order, a foreign national who meets the definition of extended family member and is entering for a non-optional, non-discretionary purpose relating to extended family, or who will enter for optional and discretionary purposes if they intend to be with the extended family and stay in Canada for at least 15 days, may enter Canada if (a) they have a statutory declaration of their relationship signed and sworn by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident; and (b) they are authorized to enter in writing by an officer designated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. In addition, the Order authorizes the Minister of Health to allow entry to foreign nationals seeking to attend to the death of or provide support to a person deemed to be critically ill, to provide care to an individual with a recognized medical need or to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

The Order also introduces a new provision that will come into effect October 20, 2020, at 23:59:59, Eastern daylight time. It provides that a foreign national who holds a valid study permit may nevertheless not enter Canada unless their institution of study has been determined by a province or territory to have appropriate public health measures in place such that international students can meet their obligations for quarantine under the Mandatory Isolation Order.

Background

COVID-19

COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus capable of causing severe illness, named the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is part of a family of viruses that includes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The disease is caused by a new strain of coronavirus never before seen in humans. Therefore, information about the virus, how it causes disease, whom it affects, and how to appropriately treat or prevent illness has been limited and based on best practices approaches to coronaviruses at large. Originally seen to be a local outbreak, COVID-19 has now affected the majority of countries around the globe. The science surrounding the virus is still evolving.

Coronaviruses are spread among humans primarily through the inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets (e.g. when an infected individual coughs or sneezes) or through contact with objects or surfaces contaminated by infectious droplets. Human-to-human transmission is the main driving force of the current COVID-19 outbreak and is exacerbated by a lack of immunity in the general population.

COVID-19 has been clearly demonstrated to be a severe, life-threatening respiratory disease. Patients with COVID-19 present symptoms that may include fever, malaise, dry cough, shortness of breath, and damage to the lungs. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death. Older individuals and those with a weakened immune system or an underlying medical condition have been seen to be at a higher risk of severe disease. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is currently estimated to be up to 14 days, with an average of 5 days. No vaccine is available to protect Canadians from COVID-19. Current treatment is supportive, aimed at relief of symptoms and treatment of associated medical complications.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared an outbreak of what is now known as COVID-19 to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 2020, and a pandemic on March 11, 2020. COVID-19 has demonstrated that it can cause widespread illness if not properly contained. Global efforts are focused on identification of cases and the prevention of further spread. If widespread disease occurs in Canada, the health system could be overwhelmed, further increasing negative health impacts.

Government of Canada response to COVID-19 pandemic

The Government of Canada’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians. To limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in Canada, the Government of Canada continues to take unprecedented action to implement a comprehensive strategy with layers of precautionary measures. Measures include restrictions on entry into Canada for optional or discretionary travel, restrictions on cruise ship travel in Canada, and mandatory quarantine and isolation measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

Together, these measures have been effective. For instance, by limiting incoming travel to Canada and requiring mandatory isolation and quarantine, the Government of Canada has reduced travel-related infections to low numbers. While these measures cannot prevent COVID-19 from crossing the borders, they are effective at reducing the risk that community transmission will occur due to international travel.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Government of Canada is continuing to evaluate the latest science and situational assessments of what is occurring in various jurisdictions across Canada and internationally when considering any changes to border restrictions or border measures. All changes to international travel restrictions and advice are based on national and international evidence-based risk assessments. At this time, travel continues to present a risk of imported cases and increases the potential for onward community transmission of COVID-19. This is because, while some countries are starting to see confirmed cases and deaths fall following strict lockdown restrictions, others are still seeing figures rise.

The global number of cases of COVID-19 is rising at an accelerated pace, with sharp increases in cases in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The number of cases of COVID-19 in the United States also remains high. The WHO has also warned countries to prepare for new outbreaks, especially in areas where lockdowns have been eased. As of September 29, 2020, there were 7 148 044 detected cases in the United States, 6 145 291 detected cases in India, and 4 745 464 detected cases in Brazil. In August 2020, of the travel-related cases identified in Canada for which a country of origin is identified, 20% of cases were attributed to travellers from the United States.

There remains significant potential for a resurgence of travel-related cases in Canada if the border restrictions between the United States and Canada were to be lifted at this time. Adequate scientific support for the role of laboratory testing as part of a multi-layered approach to reduce the risk of importation or to ease quarantine measures is not yet available. Opportunities to develop this necessary evidence are actively being explored.

Entry prohibitions coupled with mandatory isolation and quarantine remain the most effective means of limiting the introduction of new cases of COVID-19 into Canada. With some countries easing COVID-19 protection measures and the risk of new cases increasing in those countries as a result, the Government of Canada continues to take a precautionary approach by largely maintaining the current border restrictions at this time in an effort to preserve the fragile recovery in Canada.

The Government recognizes that Canadians have been working hard to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission, and that entry prohibitions and mandatory quarantine requirements place significant burden on the Canadian economy, Canadians, their immediate and extended families and on those seeking to study in Canada.

By working closely with provinces and territories, the Government has identified a process to allow entry of international students and their immediate family members in a controlled and phased manner based on information that may change over time.

Implications

Key impacts for travellers

By limiting the number of incoming foreign nationals, Canada has taken strict border measures to limit the risk of the introduction or spread of COVID-19 transmitted via travellers from foreign countries, while maintaining critical services and support necessary for Canada.

This Order will continue to generally prohibit foreign nationals from entering Canada from the United States, unless they are entering for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes or are immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and entering Canada to be with that person for at least 15 days.

Foreign nationals travelling for any purpose will continue to be denied entry into Canada if they have COVID-19, have reasonable grounds to suspect they have COVID-19 or are exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19, subject to certain narrow exemptions. The enforcement of the prohibition on entry for foreign nationals who arrive exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, despite having appeared healthy prior to boarding an aircraft or vessel, may be deferred to the extent required to maintain public health and ensure the safety of the commercial transportation system.

Under the updated Order, a foreign national who meets the definition of extended family member and is entering for a non-optional, non-discretionary purpose relating to extended family or who will enter for optional and discretionary purposes if they intend to be with their extended family and stay in Canada for at least 15 days, may enter Canada if they have a statutory declaration of their relationship signed and sworn by the Canadian citizen or permanent resident and are authorized to enter in writing by an officer designated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Extended family members include an individual who has been in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least one year, and has spent time in the physical presence of this person during the relationship; a dependent child of such an individual; an adult child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or of their spouse, common-law partner or dating partner, and their dependent children; a sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or their spouse or common-law partner; or a grandparent of a Canadian citizen or of their spouse or common-law partner.

A new provision for international students has been included in the Order. Foreign nationals who have a valid study permit, who may apply for a study permit when entering Canada under section 214 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations or whose application for a study permit was approved under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and who received written notice of the approval but who have not yet been issued the permit are nevertheless prohibited from entering unless it is for the purpose of attending an institution on the list of institutions determined by a province or territory where the institution is located to have appropriate measures in place to ensure their students can meet their obligations under the Quarantine Act, including mandatory isolation or quarantine. The list of institutions will be published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on its website, and amended from time to time. The new prohibition of entry for international students does not come into effect until October 20, 2020, at 23:59:59, Eastern daylight time.

The Order has also been updated to provide that a foreign national may enter Canada if the Minister of Health determines that they intend to enter Canada to attend to the death of or provide support to a resident of Canada who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident, protected person or a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act and has been deemed by a licensed health care professional to be critically ill. A foreign national may also enter Canada to provide care to such residents having a recognized medical need, or to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the prohibition on entry into Canada has significantly impacted the Canadian economy. However, the measures taken by the Government of Canada continue to be necessary to address the serious health threat posed by COVID-19.

Penalties

Failure to comply with this Order and other related measures under the Quarantine Act are offences under the Act. The maximum penalties are a fine of up to $1,000,000 or imprisonment for three years, or both.

Consultation

The Government of Canada has engaged provinces and territories to coordinate efforts and implementation plans. In addition, there has been consultation across multiple government departments, including the Canada Border Services Agency; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Transport Canada; Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness; and Global Affairs Canada, given linkages to other statutory instruments.

Contact

Kimby Barton
Public Health Agency of Canada
Telephone: 613‑960‑6637
Email: kimby.barton@canada.ca