To reduce the risk of importing and transmitting COVID-19 and the recent Omicron variant, Canada introduced additional border and quarantine measures as of November 30, 2021. These new measures apply to all fully vaccinated travellers who have been in any country other than Canada and the United States in the 14 days prior to entry to Canada. As a result, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are now subject to stricter pre-entry and arrival testing, screening, and quarantine measures regardless of their vaccine status.
Fully vaccinated travellers who are selected for arrival testing must quarantine in a suitable location until they receive a negative test result. However, the government of Canada expects that within the coming weeks 100% of fully vaccinated travellers will be tested upon arrival.
Prohibited Entry to Canada from Specific Countries
As a precautionary measure, and until January 31, 2022, foreign nationals who have travelled in any of the following countries within the previous 14 days cannot enter Canada:
- South Africa, and
Requirements for Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents
Canadian citizens and permanent residents travelling from one of the 10 countries must:
- Get a COVID-19 test from the country they’re travelling from within 72 hours of departure
- Complete a test upon arrival in Canada regardless of vaccination status
- Complete a “Day 8” test AND quarantine for 14 days.
14-Day Quarantine Requirement
Upon entry into Canada, all travellers can expect greater scrutiny of quarantine plans. For example, travellers can expect to be contacted and directed to be tested and to quarantine while waiting for test results.
So, it’s important to consider what you need to include in a quarantine plan before you arrive in Canada. You also need to enter your quarantine plans into ArriveCAN.
It’s a legal requirement for all people who enter Canada to prepare a quarantine plan and isolate for 14 days. Your plan must include how you will travel to your place of isolation, and how you plan to get living essentials. But what else should you consider? Find out why a plan is essential and how you can meet the requirements.
What to Include in a Quarantine Plan
What Constitutes a Good Quarantine Plan?
You must quarantine for 14 days after travel if you are:
- not fully vaccinated
- not given an exemption as a fully vaccinated traveller at the border.
Consider the following questions when you create your quarantine plan:
- Have you arranged a location to stay for your 14-day isolation period in your arrival city?
2. Is there anyone at your isolation location who may be vulnerable to COVID-19? This may include someone who:
- Is over age 60
- Has a medical condition such as heart disease; high blood pressure; asthma or other lung diseases; diabetes; cancer; immune suppression; or taking prednisone medication.
You may have to locate a different quarantine location if people who may be vulnerable to COVID-19 will be present.
3. Have you arranged how you will travel from the airport to your isolation address? You may take public transport to your quarantine location.
4. Are you able to make the necessary arrangements to get groceries and other essentials during your quarantine? You can visit this site for information about where to order your groceries online.
5. Do you have a non-medical face mask or face covering to wear when travelling? Airport officials will provide you with a face mask to travel to your isolation location if you do not have one.
6. Do you have enough money and necessities (including medication) for your 14-day quarantine period?
With a well-thought-out plan, you can avoid serious penalties. And because you will be unable to leave your quarantine location, you must prepare so that you have essentials such as food and medication. Answer these questions to assess your quarantine plan.
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The Government of Canada has put temporary restrictions and measures in place to address COVID-19 Omicron variant. You MUST quarantine for 14 days and monitor yourself for symptoms
So this means that you must or isolate yourself for 14 days as soon as you enter Canada. This applies to people with or without COVID-19 symptoms. And isolating yourself is necessary to:
- Limit the spread of COVID-19 and its variants
- Protect vulnerable people (people over the age of 60, with pre-existing health conditions, or weak immune systems)
- Flatten the COVID-19 curve.
Why You Need a Quarantine Plan
The government of Canada will enforce that you isolate when you arrive in Canada. So you will be responsible to follow isolation requirements. Therefore, you must think about what to include in a quarantine plan before you travel to Canada.
Enforcing the Quarantine Requirement
When you arrive in Canada, border officials from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will ask you questions about your quarantine plan. So you must provide them with the address where you will quarantine or isolate, and answer other questions. And if you do not have a suitable place to isolate yourself, you will have to go to a place such as a hotel or a site that public health officials identify.
Public health officials and local police can enforce quarantine requirements. So you also have to provide contact information through ArriveCAN.
Complying with Quarantine Requirements
It’s important that officials know how to contact you while you are in quarantine.
To make sure that you comply with the quarantine requirement, the government will conduct spot checks. And if you do not follow the quarantine plan, you can face a penalty that may include:
- A fine of up to $750,000
- A prison sentence of up to six months
- Both a fine and a prison sentence.
And if you knowingly cause a risk of death, the penalty is even greater. For example, you can:
- Face a fine of up to $1,000,000
- Go to prison for up to three years, or
- Get a fine and prison time.
As you can see, these are serious penalties. The good news is that you can prepare a quarantine plan. Doing so will help you to avoid a penalty and protect yourself and others. And you will be doing your part to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Happens if I Have COVID-19 Symptoms?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms you must travel to your quarantine location using private transportation. And you will not be able to use city buses, trains, or subways.
But if you do not have private transportation or a suitable place to isolate, you must go to a location that is identified by Canadian health officials, such as a hotel.
What Happens if I Don’t Have COVID-19 Symptoms?
Even if you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms you are still required to quarantine for 14 days.
If you do not have private transportation or an adequate place to isolate, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada will designate a facility where you must isolate for 14 days.
Because information about COVID-19 is changing rapidly, we recommend that you follow the government of Canada updates. Or contact the provincial public health authority (see contact information below).
Monitoring Your Health is a Quarantine Requirement
While you are in isolation you must monitor your health for the following COVID-19 symptoms:
If you begin to show symptoms of COVID-19, you must:
- Immediately call the public health authority in the province where you are isolating
- Describe your symptoms and travel history, and
- Follow their instructions.
- These are important requirements that you must include in your quarantine plan.
Provincial and Territorial Public Health Authorities
British Columbia Call 811
Alberta Call 811
Saskatchewan Call 811
Manitoba Call 1-888-315-9257
Ontario Call 1-866-797-0000
Quebec Call 1-877-644-4545
New Brunswick Call 811
Nova Scotia Call 811
Prince Edward Island Call 811
Newfoundland and Labrador Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929
Nunavut Call 1-867-975-5772
Northwest Territories Call 811
Yukon Call 811
So while the quarantine requirements may be difficult, you can prepare a plan before you arrive in Canada. And when you know what to include in your quarantine plan this will help to protect you and others from COVID-19. A well-thought-out plan will help you to comply with legal requirements, avoid penalties, and ensure your safe entry to Canada.