To limit the spread of COVID-19, travellers entering Canada must follow the rules set out by the emergency orders under the Quarantine Act.
No one should travel when sick. Commercial airline restrictions may also prevent you from boarding your plane if you’re sick. However, Canadians, persons with status under the Indian Act and permanent residents who have COVID-19 symptoms are allowed to return to Canada.
When entering Canada, you'll be:
- asked if you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing
- required to acknowledge that you must:
- quarantine for 14 days if you don’t have symptoms or
- isolate for 14 days if you have symptoms
- asked if you have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine, where:
- you’ll have access to basic necessities, including water, food, medication and heat during the winter months
- you won’t have contact with people who:
- are 65 years or older
- have underlying medical conditions
- have compromised immune systems
- you won’t be in a group or community living arrangement such as:
- industrial camps
- student residences
- construction trailers
- residential or long-term care facilities
- sharing a small apartment
- living in the same household with large families or many people
- having roommates who haven’t travelled with you that you can’t avoid
- given instructions about the actions you must take under the emergency order and the penalties for non-compliance
Travellers entering Canada must:
- provide traveller contact information through:
- undergo screening by a border official
- answer any relevant questions:
- when you arrive in Canada
- during your 14-day period while in quarantine or isolation
Government of Canada representatives at Canadian ports of entry will:
- administer the emergency orders on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada
- assess your potential risks to public health under the Quarantine Act
- determine if you:
- have suitable plans for quarantine or isolation
- need to be transferred to a designated quarantine facility, if no other suitable options are available
- have no symptoms of COVID-19 and can continue domestic travel to your place of quarantine
Use the ArriveCAN app or website to speed up your arrival process in Canada and spend less time with border and public health officers. Submit your information easily and securely before arriving in Canada.
The Government of Canada has published a list of designated learning institutions (DLIs) that have had their COVID-19 readiness plans approved by their respective provincial or territorial government. This approval is a critical factor in an institution or school being able to welcome international students, following the government’s decision to reopen the border to students as of 20 October.
A related statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) advises:
“To be able to enter Canada as a student, you must meet 2 requirements:
- You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit.
- You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.”
“Your travel to Canada will be considered essential (non-discretionary) if you have all of the required documents and your DLI is on the approved list.”
IRCC adds that:
“When the border services officer greets you [at a Canadian port of entry], they look at several factors, including:
- your reason for travelling to Canada;
- your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination;
- if you either (i) have time to complete your quarantine before you physically attend classes, or (ii) can study online during your quarantine.”
The list of approved DLIs
Students are cautioned that they cannot travel to Canada before their DLI is added to the IRCC list of approved institutions: “If your DLI isn’t included below, you can’t travel to Canada to study at this time. If you try to travel to Canada when your DLI isn’t included, you may not be allowed to board your flight or you may be turned away at the port of entry.”
Currently included – as of 27 October – on the list are all public and independent primary and secondary schools in British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. Schools in all other provinces and territories are not approved to receive international students at this time.
Also as of 27 October, there are 558 post-secondary institutions, including colleges, universities, private training institutes, and language schools, on the approved DLI list. Roughly two thirds are in Quebec. There are currently no approved post-secondary DLIs in the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, or Nunavut.
IRCC regularly updates its DLI listing regularly as more institutions have their COVID-19 readiness plans approved by their respective provincial or territorial governments.
Source: ICEF Monitor