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 was updated on 12 November 2020.
Is coronavirus a problem in Canada?
Yes. As of 11 November, cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in 280,462 Canadians. 10,748 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, aside from a few exceptions. You can check on the page with exceptions to the Canadian travel ban whether your travel plans fall under this. 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 remain in place until at least 30 November. Persons that have an essential reason to travel to Canada are required to ask for permission for their trip at the Canadian IRCC, on top of getting an eTA or visa. Anyone who can travel to Canada with this special permission is required to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival, and must be able to present a quarantine plan. A pilot for a shortened quarantine period is currently running, combined with covid tests in-between, on arrival in Alberta (Calgary International Airport). Details about this can be found on the website of the Canadian government.
A stopover in Canada for a transit to another country is currently still possible, provided the destination country permits the trip. An eTA Canada is also required for this. 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 this 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 remain in effect until at least 30 November. Aside from the travel ban, measures have also been taken by airlines, which can sometimes be more extreme or have different terms compared to the travel ban of the Canadian government. Check with your 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.
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What should I do if I am already in Canada?
The British government currently does not see any immediate reason for travellers to return to the UK from Canada. However, there are certain precautions you can take to protect yourself against the coronavirus, which are the same as those in the United Kingdom and other European countries. The following general precautions already lead to a greatly reduced chance of coronavirus infection:
- 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
- Use masks in indoor public areas and in public transportation
- Stay indoors if you feel sick or belong to a risk group
- Limit non-essential travel
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 April 20. The Canadian government urgently advises people to observe social distancing guidelines, and to avoid all non-essential travel. To stay informed on any further measures, keep an eye on Canadian media. Persons returning from Canada are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
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.