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Travel between Canada and other countries, February 2021

Released: 2021-04-22


Arrivals to Canada from the United States and from other countries were down 93.6% compared with February 2020. Similarly, the number of Canadian residents returning from abroad declined 93.1% over the same period.

The number of Canadians flying home from abroad in February decreased 94.8% year over year. Just under 111,800 Canadians flew home during the month, down by over half (-52.1%) from January.

Travel restrictions continue

Restrictions on non-essential travel to and from Canada have been in place for just under one year. In February, the advisory against non-essential travel outside Canada remained in effect, as did the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for Canadians returning from abroad.

The federal government announced additional restrictions at the end of January. As of February 22, 2021, international travellers arriving in Canada by air have been required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival and to stay in a government-authorized hotel while awaiting the results. After this stopover, travellers must complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine.

Number of overseas visitors remains low

The number of travellers from countries other than the United States to Canada declined 91.6% year over year to 26,300 in February.

Travel originating from Europe (-96.3%) and Asia (-85.2%), Canada's largest markets, was down significantly compared with the same month in 2020. Travel from other major markets also remained low throughout February.

Ontario (-117,400), British Columbia (-86,900) and Quebec (-66,300) recorded the largest absolute year-over-year declines in the number of overseas travellers in February.

Fewer Americans crossing into Canada

In February, US residents took 75,400 trips to Canada, down 94.1% from the same month last year. The number of US residents arriving by plane declined 97.9% year over year to 6,100 in February.

Car arrivals dropped 92.7% year over year to 68,300 in February. Almost four out of every five of these car trips involved a same-day return (54,400), while overnight trips (13,900) accounted for the remainder.

Every province reported fewer arrivals from the United States in February, with Ontario (-616,900), British Columbia (-325,200) and Quebec (-160,100) posting the largest absolute year-over-year declines.

Number of visits by Canadians to the United States remains low

In February, 216,300 Canadian residents returned from the United States, down 93.0% from February 2020.

Car arrivals, accounting for more than four-fifths of these trips, fell 91.2% year over year to 182,800, of which 158,900 were same-day trips.

Meanwhile, air arrivals were down 96.5% year over year to 32,200. Because of ongoing travel advisories and restrictions, the number of Canadians returning from the United States by plane decreased 55.7% from January.

Fewer Canadians returning from overseas

In February, 79,600 Canadian residents returned home from travel overseas, down 50.4% from January and down 93.5% from February 2020.

  Note to readers

Statistics Canada's Frontier Counts program uses administrative data from the Canada Border Services Agency on all international travellers who have been cleared for entry or re-entry into Canada.

Since April 2020, releases have been based on unadjusted data (not seasonally adjusted) to emphasize the change in actual volumes.

Seasonally adjusted data from January 2020 to January 2021 have been revised.

Overseas countries refers to countries other than the United States.

A Canadian resident traveller is a Canadian resident who has travelled outside Canada for a period of less than 12 months.

A non-resident traveller is a resident of a country other than Canada who is travelling to Canada for a period of less than 12 months.

An overnight traveller or tourist is a traveller whose trip includes a stay of one night or more.


The February 2021 issue of International Travel, Advance Information, Vol. 37, no. 2 (Catalogue number66-001-P), is now available.

Contact information

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