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Travel between Canada and other countries, April 2021

Released: 2021-06-22


April marked more than a full year with border restrictions in effect to contain the spread of COVID-19. Although historically low, the number of international arrivals to Canada during April increased from the same month a year earlier.

Travellers from overseas countries made 35,000 trips to Canada in April, more than twice the number of last April, but still down 92.7% from pre-pandemic levels of April 2019.

In April, the number of American residents that travelled to Canada increased by almost 45,000 compared with April 2020, yet this is down 94.0% from the same month in 2019.

Canadians took 338,400 return trips home from abroad in April. While up by over 150,000 from last April when the nationwide lockdown came into force, it was down 93.2% from April 2019.

Travel restrictions continue

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

Since February, travellers entering Canada are required to have mandatory testing upon arrival with a hotel stopover for air arrivals while awaiting the results. After this stopover, travellers must complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine.

Overseas arrivals up but remain below pre-pandemic levels

The number of residents from overseas countries arriving in Canada rose to 35,000 in April from 16,600 last April. This was, however, down 92.7% from the 482,300 overseas arrivals during pre-pandemic April 2019.

Arrivals from Asia, Canada's largest market, were up year-over-year from 3,500 to 15,500 in April, but down 90.7% compared with the pre-pandemic level in April 2019. In April, travel originating from Europe more than doubled from 2,400 in 2020 to 5,000 this year, still down from the 191,200 arrivals in the same month in 2019. Travel from other major markets also remained low throughout April.

More Americans crossing into Canada

In April, US residents took 95,600 trips to Canada, up 87.4% from the same month last year, but a fraction of the more than 1.5 million such trips made in April 2019.

With new requirements for testing in effect, 5,100 US residents arrived by plane in April. While more than the 2,800 recorded last April, it pales in comparison to the 403,400 who flew into Canada during the same month in 2019.

American residents arriving to Canada by car almost doubled year-over-year to 88,800 in April, but this is less than 10% of the 1.1 million arrivals in pre-pandemic April 2019. Over three out of every four of these car trips involved a same-day return (66,700) while the remainder were overnight (22,100).

US visits by Canadians remain low

The number of Canadian residents returning from the United States in April was 283,300, up from 151,800 in April 2020, but far below the pre-pandemic level when 3.8 million Canadians returned home from the United States.

Car arrivals rose 85.6% year-over-year to 256,100, of which 194,600 were same-day. However, this was down from the 2.7 million return trips by car that Canadian residents took in April 2019.

Despite ongoing travel advisories and additional restrictions, air arrivals rose from 11,000 in April 2020 to 23,600 this year. However, the number of Canadians flying back from the United States during April was down 97.6% from the same month in 2019.

More Canadians returning from overseas

In April, 55,100 Canadian residents returned home from travel overseas, up from 29,000 such trips in April 2020, but 95.3% lower compared with the pre-pandemic level in April of 2019.

  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 March 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 April 2021 issue of International Travel, Advance Information, Vol. 38, no. 4 (Catalogue number66-001-P), is now available.

Contact information

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