On February 12, the Government of Canada announced new travel restrictions and quarantine measures to take place as of February 22, 2021. The information outlined below is meant only as a summary, and students are reminded that they are responsible for ensuring that they meet all travel and quarantine requirements at the time of their arrival in Canada. We encourage you to review the Government of Canada’s website to familiarize yourself with all the mandatory travel and quarantine requirements that you must legally comply with to enter and stay in Canada.
Travellers arriving by air to Canada are advised that:
- Mandatory COVID-19 PCR testing at the arrival airport is required for anyone who travels to Canada. This test will be done immediately upon arrival, and will be at the traveller’s expense. Note that the current mandatory requirement for COVID-19 PCR testing prior to being permitted to embark on a plane flying to Canada remains in effect. You will not be permitted to board a plane to Canada without a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test.
- While awaiting the results of the COVID-19 PCR test taken at the arrival airport, travellers are required to quarantine in a Government of Canada approved hotel in their first city of arrival (Toronto, Montreal, Calgary or Vancouver) for at least 3 nights at their own expense. Students must budget at a minimum an additional $2000 but it is possible the cost will be higher and the duration of your stay longer. Reservation of rooms are the responsibility of the traveller, and must be made prior to their departure to Canada and confirmation uploaded into the ArriveCAN app. Details on how to reserve a room in an approved hotel and costs are available for travellers. Reservation needs to be made before leaving to come to Canada.
- If the test results taken at the airport are negative, the traveller will be permitted to leave the approved hotel to complete the rest of their mandatory 14-day quarantine period at the location identified in their quarantine plan. This includes onward domestic air travel to the final destination city. Travellers will be subject to enhanced compliance monitoring for the remainder of their quarantine. Failing to comply with the quarantine requirements is subject to significant penalties.
- Travellers with a positive test result, will be transferred from the hotel to a designated government quarantine facility for the remainder of their quarantine period. It is unclear at this time what additional costs may be incurred by the traveller as a result.
- Recall: it was previously announced on January 29 that all flights between Canada and Mexico and the Caribbean will be suspended from January 31 to April 30 2021 and effective 11:59 pm EST on February 3, 2021, all international flights will land at one of the following four airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
For travellers entering Canada via a land border:
- As of February 15, 2021, they must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken in the United States within 72 hours of travel (or, if applicable, a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival).
- As of February 22, 2021, travellers are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at the land border and toward the end of their 14-day quarantine.
These new measures identified by the Federal and Provincial governments are in addition to the current measures already in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19 – including the mandatory negative COVID-19 PCR test result required to be completed before boarding your flight to Canada, and the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement. Individuals who may have already been vaccinated for COVID-19 are still required to comply with all travel, hotel, testing and quarantine measures.
If you have already booked your travel to Canada, we recommend that you reach out to your airline to learn more about how your flight and travel itinerary could be impacted (including any onward domestic air travel following the completion of your minimum 3-day hotel stay).
Students planning to travel are reminded that the decision to travel is a personal one, and they should plan to travel only when it is safe to do so and that travel is entirely at their own risk. Due to the rapidly evolving public health crisis posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions are changing without notice and students are reminded that they are responsible for ensuring they meet the entry requirements to Canada at the time they arrive at the Port of Entry. We recommend that students not book their travel until after they have reviewed the new travel and quarantine measures carefully, have sufficient funds to pay for the new hotel requirements and were able to book a room at an approved hotel, checked with their airlines and have consulted with the ISSO at firstname.lastname@example.org
As information becomes available, the ISSO will update our COVID-19 FAQs, Quarantine Planning and Support Website and include an item in our newsletter. We encourage students with plans to travel to continue to keep in touch with our office for additional guidance and support.