I live in the US and my sister just passed. Would that be considered essential to cross the Canadian land border and if so, would I still be required to quarantine for 14 days? Anyone have a clue? I emailed the Canadian border but they responded with a generic information to look at until they can get back to me. Thanks!

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    My condolences on your loss. The answer might depend on your exact purpose for going to Canada - to attend the funeral? to visit with surviving family members? to settle her affairs? It may be that some would be considered essential and others not. Commented May 21, 2020 at 0:54
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    You've tagged this canadian-citizens; do you mean that you yourself are a Canadian citizen? Commented May 21, 2020 at 0:57

1 Answer 1


I'm very sorry for the loss of your sister. I hope things are settled quickly so that you may attend to her funeral.

This article from the start of May states:

The government defines “optional” or “discretionary” travel as coming to Canada for the purposes of tourism, recreation, and entertainment among others. Some examples of trips that the government does not consider essential include:

  • visiting family for a vacation;

  • coming to Canada for the birth of a new family member, although they may make an exception for the baby’s parent;

  • visiting a secondary home even for the purposes of upkeep and maintenance; or

  • attending the funeral of a family member, as quarantine measures in Canada already limit the number of attendees allowed at funerals under provincial restrictions.

Is this the link they referred you to?

To board your flight to Canada, you must have written authorization from the Government of Canada to fly to Canada.

There are 2 ways to contact us to request an authorization:

  • Email IRCC at IRCC.COVID-TravelExemptions-Exemptionsdevoyage-COVID.IRCC@cic.gc.ca. We’ll contact you within 48 hours of getting your email and tell you what to do next.

You are immediate family and things continue to change as each province begins to reopen. I assume you provided information regarding where the funeral is held and they're going to make a decision ASAP to get back to you as every province has their own limit for attendance.

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    Also note that the second link states: "If you’re exempt from the travel restrictions, you must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada." (Bolding is in the original.) This link makes it clear that there are very few exemptions to the 14-day quarantine requirement, even for Canadian citizens. Commented May 21, 2020 at 14:59

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