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.
- 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 an exemption from travel quarantine
Individuals who qualify for a federal exemption
Federal 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.
- You can also apply for compassionate exemptions and limited release from quarantine.
If you are granted a federal exemption and do not qualify for an Alberta Sector exemption:
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.
You may already qualify for a sector exemption
Review Alberta’s sector exemptions that support critical infrastructure to determine if you or your corporation qualify under an existing exemption order.
- If a sector exemption does not apply, or you wold like to request a Quality of Life exemption, fill out the COVID-19 Travel Exemption Checklist (PDF, 49 KB).
- Email the completed checklist to [email protected] with the subject line: "Attention: Exemption Team - (name of the company)".
It can take up to 10 business days for your information to be reviewed.
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
- Download the ArriveCAN app and enter the information – you can do this prior to travel.
- When you enter Canada, show the CBSA officer your provincial exemption letter and a letter from your employer that designates the individual traveling as an essential service worker.
- 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 officer decide whether to apply the federal Group 6(e) exemption.
- The CBSA officer makes the final decision on whether a federal exemption applies to the individual.
- To have this decision reviewed by a Senior CBSA officer, call 1-800-461-9999.
- Follow all conditions outlined in your exemption information provided by the CBSA officer 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.
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:
- flight attendants
- commercial carriers
Quality of life exemptions
The Quality of Life exemption is an add-on for Alberta residents who work rotations or scheduled shifts outside of Canada and have all of their days off in Alberta. This exemption allows essential service workers subject to frequent quarantine periods some additional freedoms to attend low risk and primarily outdoor locations with a defined group of household members and family to a maximum of 15 people for their social, mental and physical wellbeing.
- Quality of Life exemption requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure the out-of-country worksite meets Alberta’s COVID-19 safety standards and confirms that travel safety protocols are in place.
Worksites with quality of life exemptions
These exemptions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and apply to Albertans with a worksite outside Canada. Approved worksites include:
- A2A Rail Project, Alaska/US
- Almita Piling Inc., North Dakota, Illinois, New Jersey, Denver
- Aureus Energy, Texas
- Baker Hughes, UK, UAE Training Centre
- BP Exploration Sunbury Office, UK
- Calfrac Well Services Ltd., Texas
- Cathedral Drilling, Texas
- Citadel Drilling, Texas
- Copper Tip Energy Services, USA
- Crossroads Energy Solutions Inc., North Dakota
- Deep Well Services, Pennsylvania
- Element Technical Services, Wyoming, North Dakota
- Energey First RigUp USA, Colorado
- ENI Projects, USA
- EnQuest Sullom Voe Oil Terminal Shetland, United Kingdom
- ENSIGN, Bahrain
- ExxonMobil, Texas, New Mexico
- Gyrodata Incorporated, Texas
- Innovative Trenching USA Inc., Texas
- Intrepid Directional Drilling Specialists, Texas
- Layne Granite (Mining), Arizona, Mexico
- Lucid Energy Group, Texas
- Ovintiv Inc., Texas
- Phoenix North Constructors, Inc., Georgia
- Precision Drilling, Texas, Lousiana
- 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
- Shell Mexico – Offshore Drilling Platform
- Streamflo, Texas
- Suncor, International
- Sulfer Recovery Engineering, International (refineries and natural gas plants)
- Sulphur Experts Group of Companies, International
- Tengizchevroil LLP, Kazakhstan
- Torq Energy Services Inc., France
- TransCanada Pipelines Limited, Keystone XL Pipeline construction: Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska & Houston Texas
- Vertex Resource Group Ltd., Texas & New Mexico
- Washington Hospital Fermont, California
For questions about provincial essential worker exemptions, contact the Biz Connect team.