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Travel During COVID‑19: A Resource for Canadians

 

Last updated: January 23, 2021

 

As the global outlook for international travel begins to rebound, there is a large and ever-growing body of information on which travellers must stay well-informed, as it relates to countries reopening, travel testing availability, quarantine policies, and flexible policies and measures put forth by loyalty programs and airlines.

This page tracks all the information you need to know about Travel During COVID-19 as a traveller based in Canada. Information has been gathered from a variety of sources and will be kept up-to-date on a regular basis.

In This Post

 

 

Destinations Reopening to Canadians Without Quarantine

Open to Canadians,
no testing required

Open to Canadians,
testing required

Previously reopened to Canadians,
now closed or requires quarantine

North America

  • Costa Rica

  • Dominican Republic

  • Jamaica

  • Mexico

  • United States (excl. Hawaii) (testing required starting Jan. 26)

  • Antigua & Barbuda

  • Aruba

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados (2–3 days' restricted movement in hotel)

  • Belize

  • Bermuda

  • Bonaire

  • British Virgin Islands (4 days' restricted movement in hotel)

  • Cuba

  • Curaçao

  • Dominica (5 days' restricted movement in hotel)

  • El Salvador

  • Grenada (4 days' restricted movement in hotel)

  • Guatemala

  • Honduras

  • Martinique

  • Nicaragua

  • Panama

  • Puerto Rico

  • Saba

  • Saint Barthélemy

  • Saint Martin

  • St. Lucia (14 days' restricted movement in hotel)

  • St Kitts and Nevis (7 days' restricted movement in hotel)

  • Sint Eustatius

  • Sint Maarten

  • Turks & Caicos

  • United States (Hawaii)

  • US Virgin Islands

  • Guadeloupe

  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines

South America

  • Bolivia

  • Brazil

  • Colombia

  • Ecuador

  • Guyana

  • Paraguay

  • Chile

  • Peru

Europe

  • Albania

  • Bulgaria

  • Montenegro

  • North Macedonia

  • Armenia

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina

  • Kosovo

  • Malta

  • Serbia

  • Turkey

  • Ukraine

  • Belgium

  • Croatia

  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Netherlands

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

Africa

  • Botswana

  • Cape Verde

  • DR Congo

  • Egypt

  • Gambia

  • Ghana

  • Guinea

  • Guinea-Bissau

  • Ivory Coast

  • Kenya

  • Mali

  • Mauritania

  • Morocco

  • Mozambique

  • Namibia

  • Rwanda

  • São Tomé and Príncipe

  • South Africa

  • Sudan

  • Tanzania

  • Tunisia

  • Uganda

  • Zambia

Asia

  • Bahrain (up to 48-hour quarantine while waiting for on-arrival test results)

  • Jordan

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Maldives

  • Pakistan

  • Sri Lanka (14 days' restricted movement in hotel)

  • United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

  • Uzbekistan

  • Oman

Oceania

  • French Polynesia

 

Sources (with more information on each country’s policy):


 

 

COVID-19 Testing for International Travellers, by Province

Province

Testing for International Travellers

British Columbia

COVID-19 testing for the purpose of international travel is not available at public testing sites.

Private testing options include the following:

Alberta

COVID-19 testing for the purpose of international travel is not available at public testing sites.

Private testing options include the following:

Saskatchewan

COVID-19 testing for any purpose, including international travel, is available at public testing sites.

(Government of Saskatchewan)

Manitoba

COVID-19 testing for the purpose of international travel is discouraged, but does appear to be available, at public testing sites.

(Government of Manitoba / Winnipeg Regional Health Authority)

Ontario

COVID-19 testing for the purpose of international travel is not available at public testing sites.

Private testing options include the following:

Quebec

COVID-19 testing for the purpose of international travel is not available at public testing sites.

Private testing options include the following:

New Brunswick

COVID-19 testing for the purpose of international travel is not available at public testing sites.

Private testing options include the following:

Nova Scotia

COVID-19 testing for any purpose, including international travel, is available at public testing sites.

(Government of Nova Scotia)

Private testing options include the following:

Prince Edward Island

COVID-19 testing for any purpose, including international travel, is available at public testing sites. Travellers are encouraged to email the QEH Health Records Department with "Urgent Flight" in the subject line to book their test.

(Government of Prince Edward Island)

Newfoundland & Labrador

COVID-19 testing for the purpose of international travel is not available at public testing sites.

Private testing options include the following:

 

*Denotes private testing clinics that have been approved for entering Hawaii without quarantine

 


 

 

Testing & Quarantine Policy for Canadians Upon Return

Province

Testing & Quarantine

Alberta

 As of November 2, 2020, Alberta offers a rapid testing pilot project for direct international arrivals at Calgary International Airport and Coutts border crossing.

Eligible travellers take a COVID-19 test upon arrival; quarantine until results are available (up to 48 hours). If results are negative, travellers may exit quarantine, but must complete a second negative test at a participating pharmacy on Day 6 or 7. Travellers must remain within Alberta for 14-day period following their arrival.

Travellers who do not participate in the testing pilot must self-quarantine for 14 days following their arrival.

(Government of Alberta / Prince of Travel)

Ontario

As of January 6, 2021, Toronto Pearson Airport will begin offering a free and voluntary COVID-19 test for international arrivals. Note that this is not an alternative to the 14-day self-quarantine.

(Toronto Pearson Airport / Prince of Travel)

All of Canada

 As of January 7, 2021, all persons entering Canada will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 result adminstered within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Canada.

(Government of Canada / Prince of Travel)

The government has also provided a list of reputable testing agencies abroad. To view, click on the country, then the “Health” tab.

With the exception of Alberta's rapid testing pilot program, travellers returning from international travel must self-quarantine for 14 days following their arrival.

(Government of Canada)

 


 

 

Major Loyalty Programs: Flexible Policies and Extensions

Loyalty Program

Benefit / Measure


Aeroplan

Elite status extension: Air Canada has extended members' Altitude elite status through 2021. Moreover, if members organically earn elite status through travel activity in 2020, they may gift the status to a friend or family member. (Air Canada / Prince of Travel)

Flexible booking policy (award tickets): For all awards booked by February 28, 2021, customers may cancel or make one change to their award at any time, even after that deadline. 
(Air Canada / Prince of Travel)

Flexible booking policy (paid tickets): Customers with paid fares booked through February 28, 2021, will have the option of converting the remaining value of their fare into Aeroplan miles at a rate of 1.8 cents per mile (CAD). (Air Canada)

Pause on mileage expiry: In normal circumstances, Aeroplan miles expire if there has been no activity in an account within the past 18-month period. This policy is paused until March 31, 2021. 
(Air Canada)


Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Elite status extension: Alaska Mileage Plan has extended all members' 2020 status until the end of 2021. Furthermore, any elite qualifying miles earned in 2020 will also count in 2021, giving members a head start on requalifying for 2022. 

Members who started a status match challenge between December 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 will have the challenge criteria waived, and your matched status will be extended through 2021. 
(Alaska Airlines)

Companion fare extension: All companion certificates set to expire in 2020 will be extended. You’ll now have until December 31, 2020 to purchase new travel through November 26, 2021. 
(Alaska Airlines)

Flexible booking policy (all tickets): Alaska Mileage Plan award tickets, booked before March 31, 2021 for travel until February 28, 2022, may be changed or cancelled without the usual US$125 fee. (Alaska Airlines)


British Airways Avios

Voucher extension: The Travel Together voucher, a perk of the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite, has been extended by six months for all members. (British Airways)


Hilton Honors

Elite status extension: Hilton Honors will extend members' 2019 and 2020 elite status through to March 2022. (Hilton / Prince of Travel)

Pause on points expiry: In normal circumstances, Hilton Honors points expire if there has been no activity in an account within the past 12-month period. This policy is paused for all of 2020.
(Hilton)

Free night certificate extension: All annual free weekend night certificates from the Amex US Hilton cards will be valid through to August 21, 2021; moreover, they will be redeemable on any night of the week, not just on weekend nights. (Hilton)


Marriott Bonvoy

Elite status extension: Marriott Bonvoy will extend members' 2020 elite status through to February 2022. (Marriott / Prince of Travel)

Pause on points expiry: In normal circumstances, Marriott Bonvoy points expire if there has been no activity in an account within the past 24-month period. This policy is paused until February 2021. (Marriott)

Free night certificate extension: All anniversary free night certificates from credit cards, 75-night Annual Choice Benefit free night certificates, and five- and seven-night certificates from Travel Packages will be valid through to August 1, 2021. (Marriott / Prince of Travel)

Suite Night Awards extension: All Suite Night Awards from the 50- and 75-night Annual Choice Benefits will be valid through to December 31, 2021. (Marriott)


WestJet Rewards

Elite status extension: WestJet elite status has been extended through December 31, 2021 for all members. (WestJet / Prince of Travel)

Companion fare extension: All companion certificates set to expire in 2020, as well as those redemeed for travel between March 1, 2020 and January 31, 2021 but where travel is cancelled, will be extended through to January 31, 2021. (WestJet)

Flexible booking policy (all tickets): There is no fee to change or cancel  flights booked before February 28, 2021, including WestJet's Member Exclusive fares. (WestJet)

 


 

 

Major Airlines: Flexible Policies, COVID-19 Measures, and Onboard Service

Airline

Flexible Booking Policy

Additional COVID-19 Measures

Onboard Service in
Long-Haul Business Class

Air Canada

For tickets booked through February 28, 2021:

  • One-time free change, fare difference applies 

  • Cancel for an Air Canada Travel Voucher or Aeroplan points with 65% bonus

Insurance: For bookings made until January 31, 2021, for travel until April 12, 2021, Aeroplan members enjoy Manulife COVID-19 Emergency Medical and Quarantine Insurance on Air Canada round-trip flights (including Aeroplan award tickets with at least one Air Canada flight) of up to 21 days in duration.

(Air Canada / Prince of Travel

Air France

For tickets with a departure by March 31, 2021:

  • Free changes, fare difference applies 

  • Cancel for a future travel voucher

British Airways

For tickets due to be completed by August 31, 2021:

  • Free changes, fare difference applies 

  • Cancel for a future travel voucher

Modified service with hot food
Full service resuming in Jan 2021

Emirates

For tickets with a departure by June 30, 2021:

  • Change travel date within the next 24 months for free

  • Change destination within same "region" for free

  • Cancel for a full refund

Insurance: For travel until December 31, 2020, passengers travelling on Emirates (on tickets issued by Emirates) will enjoy free COVID-19 insurance for up to 31 days after your first flight.

(Emirates)

Etihad Airways

For tickets with a departure by June 30, 2021:

  • Change travel date until October 31, 2021 for free

  • Change destination within same zone for free for travel before June 30, 2021

  • Cancel for Etihad Credit and earn up to US$400 or 5,000 Etihad Guest miles

Insurance: For travel until March 31, 2021, passengers travelling on Etihad Airways (on tickets issued by Etihad Airways) will enjoy free COVID-19 insurance for up to 31 days after your first flight.

(Etihad Airways)

Free COVID-19 testing: Until December 31, 2020, passengers travelling on Etihad Airways (on tickets issued by Etihad Airways) departing out of Abu Dhabi will be able to book a free COVID-19 PCR test in the UAE. 

(Etihad Airways)

KLM

For tickets with a departure by September 30, 2021:

  • Free changes, fare difference applies 

  • Cancel for a future travel voucher

(KLM)

Lufthansa

For tickets booked through February 28, 2021, changes are free, but a fare difference applies.

(Lufthansa)

Qatar Airways

For tickets booked through December 31, 2020:

  • Change travel date until December 31, 2021 for free

  • Exchange for future travel voucher with 10% extra value

Swiss

For tickets booked through February 28, 2021, changes are free, but a fare difference applies.

(Swiss)

TAP Air Portugal

For tickets booked through January 31, 2021, with an original travel date from September 25 to December 14, 2020 or from January 16 to May 31, 2021, there is a one-time free change (fare difference applies). Change must be made 21 days before travel date.

(TAP Air Portugal)

Turkish Airlines

For tickets booked through March 31, 2021, for travel until December 31, 2021, unlimited changes are free, but a fare difference applies. It is also possible to convert your ticket into an "open ticket" (i.e., essentially a future travel credit).

(Turkish Airlines)

WestJet

For tickets booked through February 28, 2021:

  • One-time free change, fare difference applies

  • Cancel for a travel voucher valid for 24 months

Insurance: For tickets booked on or after September 18, 2020, for travel until August 31, 2021, WestJet passengers enjoy TuGo's COVID-19 Travel Insurance for up to 21 days (on round-trip bookings) or 7 days (on one-way bookings). 

(WestJet

 

 
20 Comments
  1. Avatar
    grant

    Stay home!! For the love of God think of the consequences of your actions in travelling, not to yourself in most cases but to others!! Also rumour is Federal gov’t is investigating the idea of 14 day hotel quarantine upon return to persuade travelers from travelling with this out of pocket expense.

    1. Avatar
      Jay*

      @grant The rumored 14 day hotel quarantine will coincide nicely with the upcoming Marriott Bonvoy Q1 Global Promotion. 😊 /s

    2. Ricky
      Ricky

      If those rumours come to pass, we’ll definitely be adding it to the resource.

  2. Avatar
    Joanne

    This is great. Thanks. Also…
    KLM gives you a choice upon cancellation of ticket. Either a voucher or cash back. I had the agent double check before cancelling.

  3. Avatar
    Derek

    Hi Ricky
    Great info thanks.
    Any word of AC will extend the eUpgrades? I have several expiring in March 2021. And some in June 2021

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      We’re still waiting on intel for this one. I’m certainly hoping they do.

  4. Avatar
    JJ

    Good stuff, thanks ricky!

  5. Avatar
    Megan Holley

    Awesome!! Thanks for all the hard work!

  6. Avatar
    Lisa

    Travelling to Mexico soon. Saw you mentioned Blue cross or Manulife for travel insurance for Canadians. Which do you feel offers most coverage for Covid? Thank you

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yeah the UK’s a tricky one. I think I had originally included them due to the new Test to Release scheme, but that’s still a five-day quarantine. So I’ll leave them off for now, since the list is meant to be for countries with no quarantine.

  7. Avatar
    James

    Serbia doesn’t require testing for entry to Canadians

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Thanks James.

  8. Avatar
    Robert Covington

    All Marriott free night certificates have been extended to Aug 1st, 2020, not Aug 31st, 2020.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Thanks for that Robert.

  9. Avatar
    Brad

    I believe no testing required for Canadians to enter Dominican Republic. though they may randomly test a small percentage of arrivals.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Thanks Brad, that seems to be correct based on a closer look at the sources.

  10. Avatar
    Stu

    I think Bonvoy points expire after 24 months, not 12?

    See 1.6.d. Points Expiration Policy. Members must remain active in the Loyalty Program to retain Points they accumulate. If a Member Account is inactive for twenty-four (24) consecutive months, that Member Account will forfeit all accumulated Points.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      You’re right Stu, thanks for the correction.

Ricky

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