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Canada

If you’re travelling to Canada, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview and travel updates
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview and travel updates

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia

Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling.  Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview and travel updates

Security status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020

IMPORTANT NOTICE: AIR TRAVEL BETWEEN CANADA AND IRELAND

There is an interruption in direct flight services between Toronto and Dublin, starting Monday, 30th March. This is a fluid situation and we are aware that airlines are keeping all routes under review. Those with bookings in the coming month are strongly encouraged to contact your airline if you have not heard from them already.  Indirect flight services between Canada and Ireland remain available. With the ongoing reduction in flight services, we are strongly advising all Irish citizens normally resident in Ireland or who are in Canada on short-term visas, and are concerned about their situation, to return home.

 

Latest Travel Advice

A number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Canada.

Important Notes:

  • Canada is barring entry to all travellers from March 18 who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. There are exceptions for aircrew, diplomats, immediate family members of Canadian citizens, and travellers arriving in Canada in transit to a third country.
  • It has since been announced that temporary foreign workers, some international students and approved permanent residents who wish to return to Canada are now able to enter Canada.
  • Those travelling by air need to pass a health check before being allowed to board their flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
  • It is mandatory for all travellers entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry.
  • Upon arrival in Canada, every traveller will need to confirm that they have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine, where they will have access to basic necessities, such as food and medication.
  • Travellers will be expected to make plans for where they will isolate or quarantine in advance of arriving to Canada. Travellers who do not have an appropriate place in which to isolate or quarantine themselves must go to a place designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. These criteria are newly applied to asymptomatic travellers.
  • In addition, all travellers arriving in Canada will be required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering to proceed to their final destination where they will isolate or quarantine. They will be provided with a mask if they do not have one.
  • Maximum penalties of $750,000 or six months imprisonment (or both) have been put in place for failure to comply with this Order.
  • The US-Canada border is closed to all non-essential travel.
  • The Canadian government have announced that cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers will be banned from docking at Canadian ports until July.

 

See links below for details on COVID-19 in Canada.

Canada’s Outbreak Update Page

WHO

If you are in Canada, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below.

Contact Information for Public Health Authorities

Global Affairs Canada Travel Advisories

Note: The Canadian authorities have warned Canadian citizens against all non-essential travel outside of Canada.

Canada’s Response to COVID-19

Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.

HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.

Do:

  • wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
  • put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands

Don’t:

  • touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

Irish visitors to Canada are reminded of the importance of adhering to the terms and conditions of your Canadian visa. The local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: REQUIREMENT FOR VISA-EXEMPT FOREIGN NATIONALS TRAVELLING TO CANADA BY AIR

Canada has introduced an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or transiting through Canada. As of March 15, 2016, travellers who do not require a visa to fly to Canada need to apply for an eTA.  This includes passengers travelling on an Irish passport.

Applying for an eTA is a simple, inexpensive ($7 Canadian) online process that takes minutes to complete. To apply, travellers must have a valid passport, a credit card, and an e-mail address. An eTA is electronically linked to a passenger’s passport and once approved, it is valid for 5 years or until passport expiry.

Passengers who arrive at the airport without an eTA should expect to experience delays in their travels, and may not be allowed to board their flight. For this reason, travellers should apply for their eTA before booking your flight to Canada.

For more information or to apply for an eTA, visit the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta/apply.html

Note:

  • Beware of scam websites claiming to process eTAs. The only genuine website is the one linked above.
  • As eTAs are processed in a closed loop online system, the Embassy will not be able to intervene should there be any delays or errors with your eTA application. The onus is on citizens to fill in their application correctly and to give themselves enough time to apply for the eTA in advance of travelling.

Irish-Canadian dual citizens please note carefully:

Dual citizens, who hold Canadian citizenship and citizenship from a visa-exempt country such as Ireland, cannot apply for an eTA because eTA was set up to screen foreign visitors for admissibility to enter Canada.

If you are a dual Irish-Canadian citizen you cannot apply for an eTA on your Irish passport and must enter Canada on a valid Canadian passport. You may be denied boarding if you attempt to travel using your Irish passport. 

To prepare for these changes, dual citizens are strongly encouraged to apply for a Canadian passport. This will prevent delays during travel and help ensure dual Canadian citizens are treated according to the rules that apply to Canadian citizens. 

Note:  As it can take time to get a Canadian passport, IRCC encourages Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, to renew or obtain these documents as soon as they can and before leniency period ends. Find out more about travel documents for dual Canadian citizens flying to Canada.  

Irish citizens who are permanent residents (PRs) of Canada please note carefully:

Permanent residents (PRs) of Canada are not eligible to apply for an eTA. Canadian PRs must carry and present their valid PR card or Permanent Resident Travel Document (PRTD) when boarding a flight to Canada or travelling to Canada on any other commercial carrier.

If your PR card expires, it does not mean you have lost permanent resident status, however it is your responsibility to apply for a new PR card when your current card expires. If you need to replace or renew your permanent resident card, make sure to plan ahead and check the processing times.

If you have lived outside of Canada for many years and are not sure whether you are still a Canadian permanent resident, see “How long must I stay in Canada to keep my permanent resident status” to review the residency requirement details.  

Emergency Assistance     

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, start by talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

Our emergency assistance guidelines give useful information.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates 
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Terrorism

Although the threat from terrorism in Canada is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.

Crime

  • Crime remains relatively low in Canada but you should take sensible precautions:
  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Petty theft

As with any country, crimes such as mugging, bag-snatching and pickpocketing are not uncommon in Canadian cities and towns. However, most visits to Canada are trouble-free.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Canada, report it to the local police immediately and get a police report. You’ll need this if you’re applying for areplacement passport or making an insurance claim. You can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Ottawa if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Canada, be aware that cars drive on the right side of the road but otherwise road safety conditions are fairly similar to Ireland.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Vehicle hire

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

Cannabis has recently been legalised for personal use, however any attempts to traffic the drug outside of Canada bring with it the possibility of stiff penalties inclusive of fines and long prison terms.

 

Additional Information

Additional Information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Please see ‘Overview’ tab for information on the eTA which is required to enter Canada.

If you are unsure of what the entry requirements for Canada are, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Canada.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Canada.

Novel Coronavirus

There is an ongoing outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China. Cases have been reported in other countries, including Canada.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Please be wary of these symptoms and seek immediate medical attention should such symptoms occur.

International travellers: practice usual precautions
You can reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while travelling by:

  • avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
  • frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
  • avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals;
  • travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need an vaccinations for Canada.

Additional information on the Coronavirus can be found on the via the following links:

Health Canada

World Health Organisation

ECDC

HPSC

Natural disasters and climate

Thunderstorms

Summer thunderstorms are fairly frequent in most parts of Canada, with some becoming severe and potentially life threatening.

Tornadoes

May to September are the prime tornado months with the peak season in June and early July. Listen to local weather bulletins and check the National Hurricane Centre, Environment Canada and The Weather Network websites. This is especially important if camping or travelling by recreational vehicle.

Forest fires

Forest fires can break out at any time, regardless of the season. Please heed local warnings and monitor news bulletins for latest details on local outbreaks. For more information visit the Environment Canada website.

Snow Storms

During the winter, highways can be closed because of snow storms and avalanches. Even when roads remain open, winter driving conditions may still be treacherous. Listen to local weather bulletins and check the Weather Network website. Always comply with avalanche advisories and don’t enter closed trails. For more information and avalanche bulletins check the Canadian Avalanche Foundation.

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

If you need urgent assistance outside of working hours Monday to Thursday, you can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
Suite 1105 (11th Floor)
130 Albert Street
Ottawa
Ontario K1P 5G4
Canada

Tel: +1 613 233 6281
Fax: +1 613 233 5835

Monday to Friday 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm.

Contact us

Consulate Contact

Consulate General of Ireland
Suite 704
World Trade Centre
999 Canada Place
Vancouver, B.C. V6C 3E1
Canada

Tel: + 1 604 696 3263

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Alberta (south of Red Deer)

Honorary Consul (Community, Cultural and Consular)
Deirdre Halferty
215 Glamorgan Place SW
Calgary, Alberta T3E 5B9

Tel: 1 403 813 5337

Email: Email us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Alberta (north of Red Deer)

Ms. Bridget Cahill
Honorary Consul General of Ireland
13 Glenmeadow Crescent
St. Albert, AB, T8N 3A2
Canada

Tel: + 1 780 458 0810
Fax: +1 780 458 6483

Email: Email us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Mark Dobbin
Honorary Consul of Ireland
95 Water Street, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 5383, Stn. C
St. John's, NL A1C 5W2
Canada

Tel: +1 709 738 6280
Fax: +1 709 738 5578

Email: Email us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Brian Doherty,
Honorary Consul of Ireland,
5136 Prince St.,
Halifax,
Nova Scotia
Canada B3J 1L4

Tel: 902 800 2064
Fax: 902 492 0164

Email: Email us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Dr. Michael Kenneally
Honorary Consul General of Ireland
School of Canadian Irish Studies
Concordia University, Hall Building, 1001-11
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West
Montreal, QC H3G 1M8
Canada

Tel: +1 514 848 2424 ext 7389
Fax: +1 514 848 2866

Email: Email us