Canada’s rules for international travel are very simple now and the only country that had a special rule was India. Now Morocco is also subject to a direct flight ban… but that doesn’t change Canada’s entry restrictions (just the requirements).
So to be clear: This flight suspension doesn’t change anything about who is (or is not) allowed to enter Canada.
After yesterday’s reminder of the most important thing to understand about travel rules, here’s another good reminder, in relation to rule #5 in the basics about travel rules in our ultimate guide to travel during the pandemic.
Here are the details.
Canada’s Morocco flight ban – details
Here is what was announced yesterday about flights from Morocco:
- Direct flights are suspended
- For an undetermined period
- The ban took effect today
- In response to a spike in cases there
- Canada’s entry restrictions don’t change
- A special requirement is added for indirect flights
Many have a hard time understanding rules that can seem complex, but it’s actually simple: Those who are departing from Morocco who were allowed to enter Canada yesterday are still allowed to enter Canada today.
They just no longer have direct flights, so they have to transit via another country (just like Canadians can simply fly to and from India via another country despite that ban). See below.
However, there is a new extra rule: Those arriving from Morocco will need their pre-entry PCR test to be done in the transit country (not in Morocco). This is a special rule that is unique to Morocco and India.
In other words, despite Canada’s Morocco flight ban:
- All Canadians can always enter Canada, even if they are in Morocco right now
- Essential travelers (or those with an exemption) from Morocco are still allowed to enter Canada
- Non-essential travelers from Morocco are still not allowed to enter Canada
- Non-essential vaccinated travelers from Morocco should still be allowed to enter starting Sept. 7th
Flight bans make entering a country logistically more complicated, yes (and more expensive)… but they don’t change anything to the actual entry restrictions. I’ve included a section with more details below if you want to learn more.
Canada’s Morocco flight ban – what it means
Here’s the reminder of rule #5 of the basic things travelers should understand about travel rules (because as mentioned yesterday, many of these rules are going to be around for a long time).
The only thing you need to look at to travel is whether you are allowed to enter a country and what the requirements are. That’s it. The fact that there are direct flights or not is absolutely irrelevant because it can be the opposite of the rules, and only the rules matter.
Okay, pardon the excessive bolding and slight bluntness but we’ll try to be as clear as possible so that hopefully more people can finally make sense of how all this works! Please ask any questions in the comments to help us help everyone understand.
Here it is:
Whether there are flights between 2 countries or not has absolutely nothing to do with whether citizens can enter or not.
Nothing at all!
Those are 2 completely separate and unrelated things:
- Just because there are flights to a country doesn’t mean you can enter
- Just because there aren’t flights to a country doesn’t mean you can’t enter
To give a concrete example, direct flights from Canada to France have never stopped operating, even in March 2020. Yet, Canadian travelers were not allowed to enter France and French travelers were not allowed to enter Canada.
The flights are still operating today. French travelers still can’t enter Canada. For them, there are flights, but they can’t enter. Just like it was for Canadians for most of the pandemic: There were direct flights to France every day, but Canadians couldn’t enter.
Flights and entry rules:
All this can be confusing, but it’s not that complicated:
- flights are one thing
- whether you can enter a country or not is another thing
Simple enough once you know, right?
Want to get all coronavirus updates for Canadian travelers?
Canada now has a ban on flights from India and Morocco. Direct flights are no longer permitted, but this changes nothing to Canada’s entry restrictions. Those who are in India and Morocco can transit via another country to get to Canada, as long as they get a PCR test in a third country (and as long as they were already allowed to enter Canada, of course).
What do you think of Canada’s Morocco flight ban? Tell us in the comments below.
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