ArriveCAN is a free application that allows travellers to Canada to securely provide their contact information and quarantine plan to the government. Effective Nov. 21, the use of this service will be mandatory for everyone entering Canada by land, air, or sea.
Exceptions will be made for travellers who are unable to use the service because of disability or lack of adequate infrastructure.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada implemented travel restrictions but did not ban travel altogether. The government needed to develop a system to track travellers and assess their health status prior to their entry into Canada and also monitor their health after arrival.
So in April 2020, Canada created ArriveCAN. ArriveCAN allows passengers to provide health and contact information prior to travelling to Canada. Once in Canada, users can then use the application to report their health status during the mandatory 14-day isolation period.
There are some indications that provinces are looking to replace the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for travellers with COVID-19 quick tests. But these are only pilot programs and are not widely available. Even if you are eligible for the pilot program, or are exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, the use of ArriveCAN still allows for faster transit through the Canadian border.
The benefits of using ArriveCAN
Apart from avoiding fines up to $1000, ArriveCAN is simple to use and can save you time at the border. There are now dedicated lanes for faster processing for ArriveCAN users at some major international airports, including Vancouver International Airport, Calgary International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and the Montréal Pierre-Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
ArriveCAN is secure and does not collect GPS information on users. Additionally, using ArriveCAN also means that you do not need to call in to report your health status during your isolation period.
If you cannot use ArriveCAN you will need to make daily calls to the toll-free number 1-833-641-0343 and you will not be able to switch to the ArriveCAN system after.