The government of Canada has taken temporary measures to protect its citizens against coronavirus (Covid-19). These have a major impact on travellers that want to travel to Canada on an eTA. Applying for an eTA is still possible, but first read which restrictions you need to keep in mind on this page. This article has been updated on 25 June 2020.
Is coronavirus a problem in Canada?
Yes, unfortunately. As of 24 June, cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in 104,087 Canadians. 8,544 casualties have also been confirmed due to Covid-19. Aside from controlling further spreading of the coronavirus within Canada, the government wants to prevent new cases by temporarily banning incoming travellers.
Travelling with an eTA Canada is not possible in many cases due to the coronavirus (Covid-19)
Can I still apply for an eTA Canada despite coronavirus?
This is possible. Because an eTA Canada is valid for five years, new applications can still be submitted. Frequent travellers often apply for a new eTA as soon as the previous one has expired. This can still be done. It is also possible to still apply for an eTA Canada in other cases. The average delivery time has not been delayed due to coronavirus. You can also already apply for an eTA even if you do not know when you will be travelling to Canada.
Does Canada have a travel ban for travellers with an eTA?
Yes. Currently, a travel ban applies to all people wanting to travel to Canada. There are only a few exceptions, namely: inhabitants of Canada, people with a Canadian passport, people with a valid work permit, a study permit or permanent resident permit, immediate family members of inhabitants of Canada, persons that are performing important work in Canada, persons whose trip to Canada is in the national interest of Canada, and Americans that have a "valid reason" to travel to the country. The Canadian coronavirus travel ban therefore also applies to residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland that possess a valid eTA Canada. The travel ban is temporary. However, it has not yet been revealed how long it will last, though it will likely be the case until at least 30 June. If travelling to Canada is allowed again from 1 July, this might be subject to additional requirements. No definitive information is available about this yet.
A stopover in Canada for a transit to another country is currently still possible, provided the destination country permits the trip. For this, an eTA Canada is also required. During a stopover, the traveller must remain in the terminal for international flights at the airport, which cannot be left in-between.
Travellers that have been to Europe in the past 14 days also cannot travel to the United States of America. More up-to-date information about that can be found in the article about coronavirus in the USA.
When can I travel to Canada again?
It is currently not known when travelling to Canada with an eTA will be permitted again, but keep in mind that the travel ban and other coronavirus measures will be active for at least until 30 June. Aside from the travel ban, measures have also been taken by airlines, which sometimes can be more extreme or have different terms compared to the travel ban of the Canadian government. Check with your own airline regarding this. The information on this page is continually updated. This means that as soon as more information becomes available, it can be found here.
What do I do if I am already in Canada?
The government recommends that non-resident British nationals check with their airlines to arrange a flight back to the United Kingdom as soon as practically possible. If this is not possible, there are certain precautions you can take to protect yourself against coronavirus. These are the same general precautions which are in use in the United Kingdom and other European countries:
- Keep a distance of at least two arm lengths between you and others
- Avoid physical contact with others as much as possible
- Make sure you have good personal hygiene (regularly wash your hands)
- Do not cough in your hand but in your elbow
- Avoid touching your face as much as possible
Aside from the above-mentioned measures, the Canadian government (national or regional) can take additional measures which travellers with an eTA Canada need to keep in mind. For instance, all passengers on flights to Canada are required to wear a mask starting 20 April. Travellers arriving by ship, care or bus are strongly advised to wear a mask. For any further measures, check Canadian media.
Who will pay for the damage caused by coronavirus?
The financial damage as a result of coronavirus is in the billions of pounds. As few insurance companies have sufficient financial means to meet all the claims, it is currently not certain whether all of the damages caused by the Canadian travel ban will be reimbursed. Check with your travel insurance, cancellation insurance, airline, travel bureau or tour operator. The Canadian government does not refund any costs made for an eTA travel permit which cannot be used. However, approved eTAs are valid for five years (or until the passport expires), meaning they can also be used for a trip that will be taken at a later date.
Disclaimer: Coronavirus is a quickly growing problem, and the consequences are immense. Due to the rapid developments it is not possible to offer any guarantees that the information in this article is at all times complete and up-to-date. However, this article is regularly updated concerning travelling with an eTA Canada, during and after the coronavirus outbreak.