A group of people walking in a park.

Notice to the Profession: Canadian government travel exemptions – re. funerals

Canadian government travel exemptions for extended family includes funerals – with proper authorizations

On Thursday (Oct. 8, 2020) the federal government revised entry requirements for extended family members and people travelling to Canada for compassionate reasons.

If you have attendees travelling in from another country to a funeral service, exemptions have been made to the quarantine requirement that allows them to attend funeral services – with proper documentation.

The Government of Canada states on its website: “Every person entering Canada, with limited exceptions, must quarantine for 14 days, starting on the day of arrival. Travellers entering Canada may seek approval for an exemption from border restrictions and a limited release from mandatory quarantine for compassionate reasons.”  

Here’s how it affects the bereavement sector

There are several exceptions including for “compassionate travellers” who may apply for and “get limited release from quarantine” to attend several locations or events including funerals.

For example, site visit authorizations for limited release from quarantine “may not” be required for funerals in a public park, the federal government states.

Quoting from the Government of Canada website, here are the most pertinent parts for the bereavement sector to be aware of:    


“…Each traveller must complete their own application form. Individuals must submit the Letter of Required Support or proof of death as well as any necessary Site Visit Authorizations to:

  • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one or to provide support or care to a person
  • attend a funeral or end of life ceremony

Step 1: Exemption from border restrictions and limited release from quarantine

Applications will be considered for those needing to:

  • be present during the final moments of life for a loved one or to provide support or care to someone who is critically ill
  • provide care for a person who has a medical reason as to why they require support
  • attend a funeral or end of life ceremony

If you need to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony, the following documents are examples that can be used as part of the death notification:

  • statement of death
  • medical certificate of death
  • burial permit
  • death certificate

A Letter of Required Support isn’t required to attend a funeral or end of life ceremony.

Step 2: Site visit authorization during limited release from quarantine

If you need to temporarily leave your place of quarantine for a compassionate reason, you may need additional permission from the site you’re visiting. A Site Visit Authorization may not be required if you’re visiting a public setting or site, for example, a funeral in a public park.

Instructions for applying for authorization to visit a site

  1. Download the Site Visit Authorization (PDF).
  2. Send the Site Visit Authorization form to the administrator, proprietor or homeowner of each site or location you need to visit during your limited release from quarantine, such as:
    • funeral home
    • place of worship
    • retirement home
    • long-term care facility
    • palliative care facility, such as a hospice
    • private residence where the death or end of life ceremony is occurring or where you’re supporting a critically ill person or caring for a person with a medical condition
  3. You’ll need the completed and signed Site Visit Authorization form(s) to include with your application….”


Family members arranging funerals with you must receive and share in advance the required exemption documents from out-of-country attendees with funeral establishments. Without this, funeral establishments may deny people entry to their properties.

Remember, funeral establishment operators may also deny entry to their business property for reasons they may cite, including staff and public safety.