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17 March 2020

Pandemic COVID-19 : Canadian recommandations

The number of countries reporting cases of COVID-19 has been steadily increasing, and on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a pandemic. This means the outbreak is now considered to be worldwide.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada.

Older people and those with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition(s) are at a higher risk of developing severe disease.

As with other respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 can cause mild symptoms including cough and fever. It can also become more severe for some people and lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties that may require medical attention or hospitalisation.

Recommendations for travellers

If you must travel, take precautions against respiratory illnesses , and seek medical attention if you become sick.

During your trip:

  • Avoid spending time in large crowds or crowded areas.

  • Avoid contact with sick people, especially if they have fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.

  • Be aware of the local situation and follow local public health advice.

All travellers are reminded to follow these health precautions:

Wash your hands:


  • Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available. It's a good idea to always keep some with you when you travel.

Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette:


  • Cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.

  • If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.

Monitor your health:

If you become sick when you are travelling, avoid contact with others except to see a health care professional.

If you feel sick during your flight to Canada or upon arrival, inform the flight attendant or a Canadian border services officer.

If you do not have symptoms but believe you were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, report this information to a Canada border services agent on arrival in Canada. This is required under the Quarantine Act. The Canada border services agent will provide instructions for you to follow.

Upon return to Canada:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada. Some provinces and territories may have specific recommendations for certain groups such as health care workers.

  • Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.

  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days:


  • Continue to isolate yourself from others

  • Immediately call a health care professional or public health authority and:

  • describe your symptoms and travel history

  • follow their instructions carefully

Government of Canada novel coronavirus information line: 1-833-784-4397

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.