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Professional travel in the United States

You have to travel to the United States as part of your professional duties and wonder if upon your return to Canada you will be forced into a 14-day isolation period?

Currently, as determined by the Chief Public Health Officer, the following categories of individuals are exempt from the mandatory 14-day isolation period upon returning to Canada. The exemptions are strictly interpreted and are provided for in Article 6 of Decree No. 4 aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in Canada (obligation to self-isolate). For example, the following category is exempt from the 14-day quarantine:

  • People who have to cross the border regularly to get to their usual place of work, including workers in essential infrastructures (energy and utilities, information and communications technology, finance, health, food, water, transport, security, government and manufacturing), provided that they do not provide direct care to people 65 years of age or older within the first 14 days of entering Canada.

Upon their arrival at a port of entry into Canada, those in the above-mentioned categories will not be prohibited from entering the country, provided they present the essential services documents to a border authority in order to have an exemption. Moreover, by virtue of the same Decree no. 4, people requesting an exemption will need to convince the officer that they will take all necessary measures to comply with social distancing measures, including wearing a face covering.

Our understanding of the above-mentioned rules is that your employees will always have to prove that the trip will be made entirely and only for professional reasons.

Please note that the compulsory isolation period of 14 days for asymptomatic people does not apply to those who meet the exemption criteria. Also, anyone – without exception – who arrives at the border and shows symptoms of COVID-19 will be subject to the isolation order required by a quarantine officer under the Quarantine Act. This can include home isolation or even immediate transfer to a health care facility. This measure is taken in the interest of the traveler and all other Canadians.

If you need help or have any questions, in order to ensure that you can take advantage of this exemption, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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