Skip to main content
Publish date:

COVID-19: Canada tightens border restrictions

The northern county has announced additional testing and quarantine requirements as new variants of COVID emerge.

Canada is expanding its COVID-19 travel restrictions, which is the exact opposite of what northern Minnesota businesses wanted to hear. 

It's been nearly a year since nonessential travelers from the U.S. could freely cross the border into Canada after the border was closed in March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

And last week, the country announced additional testing and quarantine requirements for international travelers and Canadians who are returning home to Canada to help prevent variants of COVID-19 from reaccelerating the pandemic, making it more difficult to contain.

“I want to thank Canadians who continue to make sacrifices to protect each other from COVID-19. We continue to detect variants of concerns, and this is why we are putting these additional measures in place. Now is not the time to travel, so please cancel any plans you might have," Canada's Minister of Health Patty Hajdu said in a statement. 

The Canadian government continues to "strongly advise" Canadians to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel outside of Canada, and asks foreign nationals to postpone or cancel travel plans to Canada, adding "Now is not the time to travel," a release says.

These new restrictions come a month after some of Minnesota's Congressional leaders joined others who represent northern states to send a letter to President Joe Biden with a plan to reopen the northern border to alleviate uncertainty for those who live near the border. U.S. Reps. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn., Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., and Dean Phillips, DFL-Minn., all signed the letter. 

Resorts on Minnesota's Northwest Angle are among those who have been suffering since the border closed last March. They've been hoping border crossing rules would be loosened as they rely on visitors who need to drive through Canada to get there. 

They have gotten creative, though. This winter they built a 30-mile ice road to reconnect the Angle to the rest of the United States. Read more about it here

Details on the new restrictions

Canada already had some of the strictest travel and border measures, including a 14-day mandatory quarantine for everyone returning to the country. But it has now made them even stricter. 

Travelers visiting Canada by land are required to provide proof of a negative COVID test taken in the U.S. within 72 hours before arrival (or a positive test taken 14-90 days prior to arrival). And starting Feb. 22, visitors will have to take a COVID-19 test when they arrive and at the end of their 14-day quarantine.

For those flying to Canada, starting Feb. 22, visitors will have to take a COVID test when they arrive, before even leaving the airport. They'll also have to take another test toward the end of their 14-day quarantine. 

In addition, those flying to Canada will have to stay three nights in a government-approved hotel, which has to be booked prior to arriving in Canada.

Starting Feb. 22, all travelers (land and air) will have to submit their travel and contact information, including a "suitable quarantine plan" electronically via ArriveCAN before they cross the border or board a flight. 

Next Up

Klobuchar - MTP - NBC screengrab

Klobuchar says Congress should pass law to protect abortion rights

Her comments came as the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken — or gut — Roe v. Wade

MPD missing Heard - crop 1_

Police ask for public's help finding Mpls. woman missing a week

The 36-year-old hasn't been seen or heard from recently.

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.


1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.


Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.

chad davis arradondo flickr

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo to retire next month

He's overseen the MPD since mid-2017, following the killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, December 6

The latest from the state health department.


Northwest Angle Canada border

Canada to allow Northwest Angle residents to travel to mainland without COVID restrictions

Canada will keep most of its other COVID-19 restrictions in place through June.

Northwest Angle Canada border

Fully vaccinated Americans can go to Canada starting in August

Non-essential travel to Canada has been banned since March 2020.

Minnesota-Canada border

CDC: Do not travel to Canada, even if you are vaccinated

The CDC has issued its highest travel alert level for Canada.

Minnesota-Canada border

Extension of non-essential travel ban between Minnesota and Canada

It's possible that the ban could be extended deeper into the summer.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Residents in Ely urged to get tested, quarantine due to COVID-19 outbreak

The northern Minnesota community has seen a "significant" increase in COVID-19 cases.

20210620203324526230000000-o (1)

Gallery: Home on island near Canadian border on the market for $1.5M

The home boasts 2,000-square-feet of deck overlooking Lake of the Woods and Canada.

international falls border canada

Hours-long wait times for Minnesotans traveling to Canada as border reopens

The line of cars at the border crossing in International Falls was 2 miles long.