Government announcement of travel ban due to the Omicron variant

December 3, 2021

Update (December 17, 2021): With the evolving situation and overwhelming evidence of community transmission of Omicron in most countries around the world, including Canada, the Government of Canada has decided to lift the extraordinary measures for travellers returning from the ten specific countries initially listed. This will be in effect as of December 18 at 11:59pm.

Effective November 3, 2021, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) will no longer restrict international student arrivals to four weeks before their studies begin. CBSA will take a more facilitative approach to international students entering Canada, and any reasonable length of time prior to study will be considered.

Although arriving earlier than four weeks before starting your studies is possible, it is not guaranteed. If you are planning to arrive early, you are expected to have a reasonable explanation for your early arrival for the CBSA officer at the border.

All travellers, regardless of citizenship, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. There are no exceptions for vaccinated travellers at this time.

As of November 30, Federal Government arrival changes due to the Omicron variant include the following: 

In the coming days, all fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air from departure points other than the United States will be subject to arrival testing. 

Fully vaccinated travellers will be required to quarantine while they await the results of their arrival test.

Unvaccinated travellers, with right of entry to Canada, will continue to be tested on arrival and day 8 and quarantine for 14 days. However, those arriving by air will now be required to stay in a designated quarantine facility or other suitable location while they await the result of their on arrival test. 

More details are available on the government website.

If you are travelling, you must:

  • Review the flying to Canada requirements checklist or driving to Canada requirements checklist depending on your method of travel.
  • Take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your flight to Canada.

If you have a connecting flight:

  • The test must be conducted within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time of your last direct flight to Canada. You may need to schedule the test in your transit city.
  • Keep proof of your test results for the 14-day period that begins on the day you enter Canada.
  • Download the ArriveCan app and complete the form 72 hours before your arrival.
  • Download the McMaster safety app.
  • Have a quarantine plan.
  • Check if you need an updated medical exam.

If you requested an exemption from UHIP but you’re now returning to Ontario, you need to connect with Randa Salih ( to activate your UHIP based on your date of arrival

Note: Airlines will refuse boarding to travellers who are unable to provide a valid molecular test result.

When you arrive to Canada

Travelers entering Canada by air or by land must:

  • Provide basic information using the traveler contact information form, available through:
    • the ArriveCAN mobile app
    • an accessible web-based form, or
    • a paper form
  • Undergo a screening by a border services officer or quarantine officer to assess symptoms.

Get the ArriveCAN app (iOS or Android)

Use this mobile app at Canadian ports of entry. Ensure you have the official version installed.

After you exit the flight, follow the airport signs to go to the Customs and Immigration counter.

Also make sure before you leave your flight you have filled a declaration form which is required to be shown to the customs officer.

Should you need help, ask one of the airport staff members. 

Additional government resources

Get more support

Once you’re here, we’ll continue to support you. Check out all our supports and services for international students. You can contact us at if you have questions.