Public Safety Canada has provided guidance on what types of businesses are considered “essential services”, which can be used as a practical guide, now that travel restrictions are in effect for foreign nationals seeking to enter Canada.  The goal is to protect the public health of Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of the U.S., the intent is to restrict travel for tourism and recreation while minimizing the impact on business activities and critical infrastructure.

Although this list is not a federal direction or standard, it can assist travelers determine which business sectors in Canada are classified as “essential”. There are many services and functions are essential to Canada’s “critical infrastructure”, which is defined as processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets, and services essential to preserving life, health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians, effective functioning of government and basic societal functions.

The list includes, but is not limited to: functions performed by first responders, health care workers, critical infrastructure workers (e.g., hydro and natural gas), and workers who are essential to supply critical goods such as food and medicines; workers who deliver essential services and functions; finance; information and communication technologies; safety; government; manufacturing, and energy and utilities.

***Please note, these essential services are advisory in nature and should not be construed as an operative or directive.