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Making Sense of the Canadian 14-Day Quarantine Requirement

Recently, a number of members have contacted HAC to help them interpret and apply the Canadian Quarantine Requirements for company employees having traveled to the USA, and returning to Canada – particularly to see if any of these individuals qualify for an exemption to the quarantine requirement. The exemptions apply to business activities under three different circumstances – they include:

  1. For a “crew member” returning to Canada;
  2. For a person returning to Canada to provide an “essential service”;
  3. And here’s the really interesting one – for a person “… who enters Canada after carrying out an everyday function that, due to geographical constraints, must involve entering the United States.”

It is clear that:

  • the exemption extends to include workers that provide transportation services to businesses and individuals, including by air …
  • Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers
  • Air transportation employees, including pilots, flight attendants and flight crew, air traffic controllers, ramp personnel, aviation security, and aviation management
  • There is no “partial self-isolation” requirement, where the crew member must self-isolate except when traveling to and from their workplace
  • If any person subject to one of the exemptions develops symptoms or comes in to contact with anyone subject to self-isolation, then they must self-isolate for 14-days

Members should take note that nothing in the CBSA document below should be interpreted to provide relief from foreign requirements, including the self-isolation requirements of a foreign country or individual US State. That is, the exemption only provides relief from the 14-day Canadian self-isolation requirements for persons entering Canada.

Here are some examples that have been raised with HAC:

  1. The CEO or Board members of a Canadian Air Operator is/are called upon to attend a Board meeting in the USA and then return to Canada;
  2. Employees or management personnel of a Canadian Overhaul shop are required to travel to the USA to meet with American suppliers;
  3. Flight or maintenance crews carrying out work in the United States return to Canada following a work-related activity in the USA involving the provision of essential or non-essential services;
  4. Employees or management personnel are required to travel to the United States to carry out an “everyday function” related to a business located in the USA – this could include work-related meetings with suppliers.