International border pilot project

Eligible international travellers returning to Alberta may be able to participate in a pilot program that is safely testing reduced quarantine periods. Find out more.


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.


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, rail crews)
  • workers with routine shifts in the U.S.
  • technicians classified as essential service workers
  • other exceptions are listed in the Mandatory Isolation Order and in the Group Exemption under 6(e) of the order

If you are not included in the Section 6, 7 or 8 exceptions to quarantine under the federal mandatory isolation order, a letter requesting an exemption can be sent to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

If you have entered Canada and the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) border officer has granted you a federal exemption and you were unaware you required a provincial exemption, our emergency Federal Alignment Order applies in this situation.

Step 2. Apply for a provincial exemption

After you review the federal exemption and believe you meet the criteria:

It can take up to 10 business days for your information to be reviewed.

Compassionate or personal exemptions

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 exemption specifies it
  • everyone must monitor for COVID-19 symptoms

A provincial exemption may include other conditions during the 14-day period, such as:

  • maintaining physical distancing of more than 2 metres whenever possible
  • 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 that designates the individual as an essential service worker to the 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.
  • 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 do not face additional restrictions.

Approved exemptions

Industry exemptions

Travel restriction exemptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis based on measures industries have taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At this time, the following professions have exemptions:

Worksites with quality of life exemptions

Exemptions are assessed on a case-by-case basis and apply to Albertans with a worksite outside Canada. Approved worksites:

  • Almita Piling Inc., North Dakota, Illinois
  • Aureus Energy, Texas
  • Baker Hughes, UK, UAE Training Centre
  • Calfrac Well Services Ltd., Texas
  • Cathedral Drilling, Texas
  • Citadel Drilling, Texas
  • Crossroads Energy Solutions Inc., North Dakota
  • Deep Well Services, Pennsylvania
  • Element Technical Services, Wyoming, North Dakota
  • Energy First RigUp USA, Colorado
  • ENI Projects, USA
  • EnQuest Sullom Voe Oil Terminal, United Kingdom
  • ENSIGN, Bahrain
  • ExxonMobil, Texas, New Mexico
  • Gyrodata Incorporated, Texas
  • Indian Health Services Fort Belknap Service Unit, Montana
  • Intrepid Directional Drilling Specialists, Texas
  • Layne Granite, Arizona
  • Lucid Energy Group, Texas
  • National Institute of Health, Washington D.C.
  • Precision Drilling, Texas, Louisiana
  • ProTorque Connection Technologies Ltd., Texas, New Mexico
  • Rig Up USA, New Mexico, Texas
  • Rocky Mountain Laboratories National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIH), Hamilton, Montana
  • Sulfur Recovery Engineering, International Refineries and Natural Gas Plants
  • Sulphur Experts Group of Companies, International
  • Torq Energy Services Inc., France
  • Washington Hospital, California


For questions about provincial essential worker exemptions, contact the Biz Connect team.