What you need to know about the federal government's ArriveCAN app
TORONTO -- Since May, the federal government has been requiring all travellers to enter their information and upload their documents through the ArriveCAN app to ensure travellers are adhering to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The app enables travellers to upload their COVID-19 test results and describe to border officers how they plan to quarantine upon arrival.
Starting July 5, when fully vaccinated travellers will be exempt from quarantine measures, the app will also allow travellers to upload their proof of vaccination.
Here's what you need to know about the app.
HOW DOES ARRIVECAN WORK?
Travellers will have to ensure that they enter their information through the app within 72 hours prior to arriving in Canada.
Upon installing and opening the app for the first time, you'll be asked to accept the terms of service and log in or register for an account.
The app will you ask you to enter your contact information and describe where you'll be quarantining for 14 days. It will also ask you about your travel history and which countries you have visited in the last 14 days and to fill out a COVID-19 symptom self assessment.
Air travellers will also be asked to provide the trip reference code produced after booking their three-day stay at quarantine hotel, unless they're quarantine exempt.
Travellers will also have to upload any relevant documents through the app, such as their COVID-19 test results. This includes fully vaccinated travellers, who will be able to upload their vaccine receipt through the app after the quarantine restrictions for these travellers ease on July 5.
If you're travelling with your family or in a group, you can also fill out the information for up to eight people in a single submission if all travellers will be staying at the same address for the quarantine period.
Upon arrival, a Canadian Border Services officer will ask to see your ArriveCAN receipt. This can be shown as a printout or on your phone's screen through the app, as a screenshot, or in the email.
During your quarantine period, you'll be able to check in daily with the app and report any symptoms as well as confirm that you've arrived at your quarantine location.
Travellers are also required to take another COVID-19 test on their eighth day of quarantine. On day nine of your quarantine period, the app will ask you to confirm if you've gotten tested on day eight.
WHAT DEVICES ARE COMPATIBLE WITH ARRIVECAN?
The app is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The ArriveCAN iPhone app is compatible with any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad running iOS 12.0 or later. On Android, the app requires Android version 6.0 or newer.
If you don't have a compatible smartphone, you can submit your information through the browser version of ArriveCAN on any computer.
IS ARRIVECAN MANDATORY?
The federal government calls ArriveCAN a mandatory requirement for all travellers entering by land or air, but it's unclear what sort of penalties would apply for travellers who refuse.
This includes quarantine-exempt individuals, such as cross-border workers.
During a media briefing officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada speaking on background said the previous system that was based around paper documents was "inefficient," which prompted the federal government to make the app mandatory.
The federal government's website says that travellers who refuse to use ArriveCAN won't be denied entry, but may face delays due to additional questioning and potentially "be subject to enforcement action."
For travellers who don't have a device compatible with ArriveCAN, officials say they can ask a friend or family member to enter in their information on their behalf.
However, the government says travellers dealing with "exceptional circumstances" outside of their control that prevents them from using the app or asking a friend or family member, won't be penalized.
Marine travellers are still allowed to produce their documents in paper format, given that internet access at sea may be limited, but they are still "strongly encouraged" to use the app, according to the federal government's website.
With files from Rachel Aiello.