People traveling to Canada from other countries must isolate for 14 days after arriving, unless they are an essential service worker with a federal and provincial travel exemption.
The Government of Canada decides who can enter Canada. Right now, people who are not Canadian citizens can only travel to Canada if they are eligible. Restrictions vary depending on the country from which someone is traveling.
- Federal guidelines for U.S nationals
- Federal guidelines for foreign, non U.S. nationals
- Federal travel restrictions
Essential service workers can qualify for an exemption from the mandatory 14-day isolation period so they can attend worksites or provide services supporting critical infrastructure, as long as they follow public health conditions.
Find a list of essential services exempt from isolation requirements on the Government of Canada website (scroll down to ‘Group Exemptions under 6(e)’ on the page and click on the arrow.)
How to get travel exemptions
Step 1. Qualify for a federal exemption
Federal industry exemptions are available for:
- air crews
- commercial transport industry workers (for example, truck drivers)
- workers with routine shifts in the U.S.
- technicians classified as essential service workers
If you are not included in the federal group exemption for essential service workers, you can request a federal exemption from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Step 2. Apply for a provincial exemption
After you qualify for a federal exemption:
- fill out the COVID-19 Travel Exemption Checklist (PDF, 55 KB)
- email the completed form to BizConnect@gov.ab.ca with the subject line: ‘Attention: Exemption Team.’
It can take up to 10 business days for your information to be reviewed.
Compassionate or personal exemptions
You may request an exemption for personal reasons from the Public Health Agency of Canada, such as to attend a funeral or visit family members. The Public Health Agency of Canada makes the final decision on these requests.
Alberta will only consider provincial personal exemption requests if you have a federal exemption first.
Learn more about compassionate or personal exemptions, including how to unite with immediate family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents
During their first 14 days in Alberta, a provincial exemption from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health:
- allows a person or group of people to travel to and from their accommodation or home to specific places, such as a work location
- does not allow a people to attend recreational activities, formal events or social gatherings unless the exception specifies it
A provincial exemption may include other conditions during the 14-day period, such as:
- monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms
- maintaining physical distancing at all times
- wearing a mask at all times when you are outside of your home or rental accommodation for the 14 day period
- This includes when traveling unless you are alone in a private vehicle.
- isolating in a place where you will have no contact with vulnerable people, such as:
- people 65 years or older, or
- people with underlying medical conditions
- washing or sanitizing hands frequently
- staying in a hotel with a COVID-19 policy and arranging their support for essential service workers by offering in-room food delivery and COVID-19 safe cleaning protocols
- avoiding eating inside a restaurant - use delivery or drive thru options only
- avoiding public transit
- following taxi and rideshare guidance
- renting vehicles with contactless pay
- using pay-at-the pump options for gas
- making sure your workplace has a plan to keep workers safe from COVID-19
How to enter Alberta with travel exemptions
- Complete the online isolation questionnaire – you can do this before arriving.
- When you enter Canada, show your signed provincial exemption letter and a letter from your employer to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents.
- These documents show you are an essential service worker as determined by the Government of Alberta.
- The provincial exemption and letter from the employer will help the CBSA decide whether to grant a federal exemption.
- The CBSA makes the final decision on whether to grant a federal exemption.
- After you leave the CBSA area, provincial health screeners will take your temperature and review your isolation questionnaire.
- Show provincial health screeners your signed provincial exemption.
- Follow all conditions outlined in your exemption from the CBSA and the Alberta Government.
Monitoring for symptoms
If you have any symptoms during or after the 14-day period, or are confirmed to have COVID-19, you must isolate and not leave your home/accommodation except for testing or medical appointments.
Testing can be booked online, or by calling 811 if you are not from Alberta and do not have an Alberta health care card.
After the 14-day period
Once the 14-day period is over, you should follow regular public health guidelines that apply to all Albertans to help prevent the spread:
- practice good hygiene
- stay 2 metres apart from others and wear a mask when this isn't possible
- monitor for symptoms
You don’t face additional restrictions.
For questions about provincial essential worker exemptions, contact: