Rules for traveling to Canada on vacation

Vacation travel has always been stressful, but now with the rules and restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there is even more to consider and plan.

With the holidays quickly approaching, many Manitobans will be heading to the airport to visit family and friends over the coming weeks. CTV News Winnipeg has spoken to experts and officials about what people need to know when traveling this holiday season.


When trying to decide when to arrive at the airport, Michel Rosset of the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) said it’s always best to speak with the airline you’re traveling with. He added that it is also good to arrive a bit early so that your travel experience is as easy as possible.

“We’re approaching our busiest days of the holiday season here, so we’ll see… more people are traveling over the next week or so,” he said.

“We recommend that you check with your airline when you should arrive and check in for your flight.”

Rosset noted that proof of vaccination is required for anyone 12 years of age and older leaving a Canadian airport.

“The best proof of vaccination is, of course, your Canada-wide proof of vaccination and you can request it on the Government of Manitoba’s website,” he said.

Since public health orders can change at any time, Rosset suggests checking all resources made available by governments, the WAA website, and airlines. He said you should check the information before you travel, as well as when you get home.


When going through security with your hand baggage, it is best not to bring gifts that are already wrapped.

Sandra Alvarez of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority recommends leaving wrapped items in your checked baggage or bringing the wrapping paper to the side, unless the gift is in a box with a lid that can be easily removed.

“The problem is, when the boxes are packed themselves, screening officers may have to unpack everything and that is obviously never a pleasant thing,” she said.

If you are traveling with a technological gift, such as a cell phone or tablet, Alvarez reminds you that during security check you must be able to demonstrate that these gadgets can turn on.

“If you have covers, those should be easily removed to allow additional filtering on these electronic devices,” she said.

As for holiday baked goods, you can bring them in a purse.

“Cookies, any kind of traditional donuts or cakes that they are used to making while on vacation – this is indeed allowed in the purse,” Alvarez said.


For travelers returning to Canada after their trip, they will need a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 test that has been taken within 72 hours of arriving at the border by land or for their outgoing flight. They will also need to complete the ArriveCAN application in advance.

“It goes into your various quarantine plans. You need to make sure you have your proof of vaccination if asked, ”said Chief Robyn Jarvis of the Canada Border Services Agency.

She explained that the quarantine plans ask travelers about the different scenarios they might find themselves in if they end up testing positive for COVID-19.

“That you have a vulnerable person living in your household. If you are able to get enough medicine you may need. Enough food, heat, all that stuff for you to survive in your home quarantined by yourself or your travel partner, who you have to be with for 14 days, ”she said.

Jarvis noted that the ArriveCAN application can be completed up to 72 hours before you arrive in Canada or before you depart on your plane back to Canada.

– With files from CTV’s Mason DePatie.

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