'This is mandatory': Ottawa reminds Canadian travellers ArriveCAN app required for re-entry

The federal government is reminding that Canadian travellers must use ArriveCAN app for re-entry into the country after reports of vaccinated citizens being forced to quarantine as a result of confusion at the Canada-U.S. land border.

"I would also like to remind all travellers, Canadians and foreign nationals who travel by land, air or water for long or short trips to submit their health and travel information in the free ArriveCAN application or website before arriving in Canada," Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said during a COVID-19 press conference Friday. "This is mandatory."

The health minister's comments come after several vaccinated Canadian citizens were told they had to quarantine at home for 14 days after failing to register their travel using the government app.

Last month, rules changed to allow fully vaccinated Canadians who re-enter the country within 72 hours to return without providing a negative PCR test. However, travellers are required to submit mandatory information including proof of vaccination, date of travel, and quarantine plan in the ArriveCAN app before arriving in Canada.

“Foreign national travellers who don't submit their information through ArriveCan may be denied entry into Canada," Duclos said. "Canadians who don't submit their information via ArriveCan won't be eligible for exemptions and may face additional delays at the border and be subject to fines.”

ArriveCAN was initially only mandatory for air travellers when the app was launched in November 2020. Passengers had to input their information prior to boarding their flight home to Canada. ArriveCAN was used post-entry for those crossing the border via land and water, during their quarantine or isolation period.

It wasn't until February 22, 2021 the use of the ArriveCAN app was mandatory for both air and land travellers. The requirement was announced nine months before the Canada-U.S. land border opened to Canadian travellers.