How do you survive your quarantine while planning your trip to Canada?

While the coronavirus situation has been consistently evolving, so have protocols and policies surrounding travelling. The Canadian government has an efficient system to help foreign students start or continue their studies despite the pandemic.

Most universities and schools, including the Toronto School of Management (TSoM), are working with the Canadian government to ensure their students’ safety. However, you should travel to Canada only if you feel it’s safe. In light of the new COVID variants and surging cases, there are mandatory quarantine restrictions and rules in place for all travellers coming into Canada.

Read ahead to get some practical tips on how to survive your quarantine period in Canada if and when you decide to travel.

What do you need to do before making travel plans for Canada?

Pandemic travel restrictions and quarantine rules are regularly reviewed and updated. At present, the Canadian government is only allowing essential international visitors. Check your eligibility to travel to Canada and the latest travel precautions before booking your tickets.

In January 2021, the Canadian government has mandated all international travellers to test negative for COVID-19 before they board a flight to Canada.

In February 2021, a federal quarantine mandate was applied for all travellers entering Canada. If you can enter Canada and you have no symptoms, you must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

Travellers flying – this includes a mandatory 3 night pre-paid booking at a government-authorized hotel at your own cost. Visit Canada.ca for more information on government authorized hotels.

You must get a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test done 72 hours before your flight. You must submit proof of a negative test to the airline before boarding your flight.

Download the ArriveCAN app on your smartphone and complete the federal ArriveCAN application before your flight. The application contains a travel quarantine questionnaire for you and any other  family member travelling with you.

Pre-arrival Quarantine Checklist

TsoM can help you make your travel planning easier in these circumstances with a Student Quarantine Plan Checklist. This quarantine survival checklist helps keep track of necessary steps for your trip and arrival to Canada. It also helps you ensure the safety of you and your accompanying family member during and after the travel.

Here are a few essential items from the travel checklist that you should definitely cross off while planning your travel:

  • Select and book an appropriate quarantine accommodation option in advance for yourself and your accompanying family member. Make sure you have a confirmed ride to take you to the quarantine location directly from the airport.
  • Submit your travel information electronically on the ArriveCAN app. This should include your COVID-19 symptom assessment, contact information in Canada and travel plans.
  • Pack your own electronic devices like laptop, tablet and cell phone. Make sure they are in working condition. Also, remember to pack all the essential documentation, such as a valid Canada study visa.
  • You won’t be allowed to have contact with anyone else during your quarantine. Remember to pack enough clothes and toiletries to last for the entire duration of your quarantine. You should also ensure you bring an adequate amount of your medication if you have any.
  • Arrange for a working Canadian phone number so you can contact the Canada Immigration officer upon arrival. You can buy an international calling card for Canada before your departure.

You can download the complete checklist by clicking here.

Still worried about your travel to Canada in these circumstances? TSoM is dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of its students. TSoM’s COVID-19 readiness plan has received provincial approval, and its re-opening framework is up-to-date.

TSoM is also working with local health agencies and government authorities to improve and maximize its students’ safety and hygiene.

You can learn more about the steps taken by TsoM to ensure your safety in the TsoM Re-opening Plan.

Spending your quarantine on arrival in Canada

You should have a concrete quarantine plan for self-isolation once you arrive in Canada. After your three-day government-authorized hotel quarantine period, connect with TSoM student services to book further arrangements. TSoM has partnered with select hotels around the Toronto Pearson Airport to provide comprehensive quarantine packages.

These packages include the hotel room rent for 14 nights and 15 days, meal packages with three meals a day, and complimentary high-speed internet. With sufficient advance notice, you can also get your reasonable dietary requests accommodated.

TSoM is also providing additional support with daily wellness check-ins, assistance with booking your COVID test after the quarantine, and care packages. You can also attend virtual mental health workshops and yoga sessions.

If you need further assistance with your quarantine planning, you can email TSoM’s Student Services at studentservices@torontosom.ca.