Strengthened Public Health Measures for Arriving Travellers, Including Foreign Representatives, from Ebola-affected Countries
Circular Note No. XDC-3102 of November 24, 2014
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (Office of Protocol) presents its compliments to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and notified Chargés d’affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada, and to the Heads of International Organizations and other Special Representative Offices established in Canada, and has the honour to refer to public health measures that took effect on November 10, 2014 that enhance the healthcare system’s ability to detect and appropriately manage any possible cases of Ebola that might arrive in Canada.
In accordance with the new public health measures, Border Services Officers are mandated to visually inspect all travellers coming into Canada for symptoms of illness or disease as they approach the primary inspection line (e.g. in the arrival customs hall, in the case of an airport) and ask them enhanced screening questions, that aim to prevent the spread of Ebola to Canada. They will focus on identifying individuals with a travel history in the Ebola-affected countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia) or who have otherwise been exposed to someone suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus in the previous 21 days. Any such travelers will be referred to Quarantine Officers. As part of their responsibilities as agents of Canada’s Public Health Agency, Quarantine Officers will identify travellers who are at risk of developing symptoms and those exhibiting symptoms consistent with the Ebola Virus Disease, and provide them with specific instructions. Detailed information about the new and strengthened public health measures is available online.
In the interest of public health, individuals who enjoy immunity from arrest, detention and measures of execution in Canada, including diplomats and accredited members of their households with bilateral and multilateral missions, travelling from the Ebola-affected region are requested to submit voluntarily to these screening arrangements and to cooperate with officials at Canadian ports of entry. The screening process is an important public health measure, which has been introduced to help prevent the spread of Ebola. It is also in the interests of passengers themselves, and those with whom they will be in contact, to help identify Ebola symptoms at an early stage.
It follows that all persons who do not enjoy immunity from arrest, detention and compulsory measures, including those who have been approved for expedited or courtesy clearances upon arrival to Canada, are requested to submit to the screening process for the Ebola virus.
The Government of Canada values its bilateral and multilateral relations and remains committed to ensuring that all precautionary screening measures are carried out by officials in the respect and dignity of the affected individuals.
The Department urges the Heads of Missions and the Heads of International Organizations and Special Representative Offices to discuss this Circular Note with their personnel.
Questions and concerns regarding this Circular Note should be addressed to the Office of Protocol at 343-203-3014.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (Office of Protocol) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and notified Chargés d’affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada, and to the Heads of International Organizations and other Special Representative Offices established in Canada, the assurances of its highest consideration.
Ottawa, November 24, 2014
- Date Modified: