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Quarantine and Isolation for International Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Note: In addition to the below FAQs, further details regarding the Government of Canada requirements for fully vaccinated travellers can be found by clicking this link .

Q. What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

A. In accordance with the requirements set out in the Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, all travellers entering Canada are required to quarantine or isolate, in accordance with the requirements set out in the Emergency Order.

Travellers who have no symptoms must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days, meaning they are separated from others so as to prevent the possible spread of disease. Isolation refers to the separation of persons who have reasonable grounds to suspect that they have COVID-19, who exhibit signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or who know that they have COVID-19.

For travellers flying to Canada, the quarantine period includes a mandatory 3 night pre-paid booking at a government-authorized hotel at their own cost, unless exempted.

  • Students who test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival to Canada and who have completed the3-day stay in the Government Authorized Accommodation will continue their quarantine
    • According to the pre-established quarantine arrangements made by the designated learning institution (DLI) as set forth in their Readiness Plan, as approved by PT health authorities.
    • They may take public transportation from the Government Authorized Accommodations to travel to their place of quarantine.
  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 upon or after arrival to Canada will isolate for 14 days from the date the sample was taken and which has been validated by the test provider, and according to the pre-established isolation arrangements by their DLI:
    • They must use transportation provided by the designated learning institution that has been pre-approved by local public health authorities;
    • They must remain in isolation for 14 days from the date of their positive test result, which may extend the total time spent in quarantine and isolation.


Q. Will international students be required to quarantine after arriving at their final travel destination while they await their on-arrival COVID-19 test results?

A. Beginning July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers including international students, are not requiredto quarantine while they await the results of their on-arrival COVID-19 test results if they meet veryspecific conditions (listed below).

All travellers will be required to disclose COVID-19 vaccination information, including whether they received a COVID-19 vaccine, the brand name or any other information that identifies the vaccine that was administered, the dates on which the vaccine was administered, and the doses received. Travellers who are not considered fully vaccinated are required to meet the full 14 day quarantine.

To be considered fully vaccinated, travellers must:

  • Have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada, at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. Currently, those vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Vaccines accepted by the Government of Canada do not have to have be administered in Canada to be accepted.
  • Provide proof of vaccination in English or French (or a certified translation).
  • Meet the pre-entry and on-arrival testing requirements (pre-departure PCR and take arrival test) and be asymptomatic,
  • Submit all required COVID-19 information electronically using ArriveCAN prior to travel to Canada, have a paper or digital copy of their proof of vaccination, and have a suitable quarantine plan.

Travellers exempted from quarantine are still required, during the 14 days after entry to Canada, to wear a mask when they are in public and maintain a list of the names and contact information of persons with whom they are in close contact with and the locations visited during that period, as well as follow any other public health measures of the province or territory they are in.

Travellers who self-declare as fully vaccinated but do not meet the conditions described above will need to complete a 3 night stay in Government-Approved Accommodations (GAA) at their expense, be subject to the full 14-day quarantine period as currently required, take a day-8 test, and may be subject to enforcement under the Quarantine Act.

For further information, please visit the web page.


Q. Is there a sense of the timelines for when additional vaccines might be approved, given that the vaccines currently used in top source countries such as India and China are not one of the four already approved?

A. A list of vaccines and regimens that meet the criteria for fully vaccinated is published on the Government of Canada website here.

The Government of Canada will continue to consider additional adjustments to the list of eligible vaccines. Before heading to the border, travelers should consult the latest travel information at so they are prepared to meet the requirements that apply to their individual vaccination status.


Q. What are the responsibilities of students upon arrival into Canada with respect to quarantine and isolation?

A. All international students are responsible for ensuring that they have adequate financial resources to support their quarantine and isolation plans. This is required even when seeking the fully vaccinated exemption, as final determination is made by a government representative at the border based on the information presented by international students at the time of entry into Canada. International students must be prepared to quarantine for 14 days in the event that they are symptomatic and/or do not meet the requirements for the fully vaccinated exemptions.

Upon arrival, international students must be able to demonstrate that they have a plan in place and the means to support their initial 14-day mandatory quarantine and isolation period in Canada. Failure to do so may result in fines of up to $5,000Cdn under the Contraventions Act.

International students must ensure that they have prepared themselves according to accurate information attained from reliable sources regarding their responsibilities set out in the Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act such as Government of Canada social media, or social media communications provided by their designated learning institution.


Q. What are the responsibilities of designated learning institutions (DLIs) with respect to quarantine and isolation?

A. An institution that is included on IRCC’s list of PT approved DLIs open to international students has made a commitment to ensure students can meet all their obligations under the Quarantine Act, including the obligation to isolate when symptomatic or if they have a positive test result on Day 1 or 8.

To be able to reopen to international students who aren’t currently in Canada, DLIs must have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory that

  • protects the health and safety of all students and the surrounding community
  • describes how they will manage the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for international students, including arrangements for transportation to the students’ quarantine location
  • provides information and support to international students about
    • how they can get the items they need for their quarantine, like food and medications
    • health insurance
    • remaining healthy while in Canada


Q. How will DLIs be informed as to whether an international student is exempt from federal quarantine?

A. The DLI can communicate directly with the traveller as required. Travellers who meet the requirements to be exempt from the mandatory 14 day quarantine period will receive a turquoise handout when they arrive in Canada. The handout is not personalized. It is the traveller’s responsibility to meet the requirements of the federal public health and quarantine requirements.

The traveller is required to provide, on request, the evidence of COVID-19 vaccination and the original version of that evidence to any official of the Government of Canada, including a public health official, or of the government of a province or to the local public health authority of the place where the person is located. This is the mechanism through which local public health authorities can verify the vaccination status of international students.


Q. What are the federal government’s expectations for DLIs’ oversight of fully vaccinated international students? If they are not required to quarantine, does this mean that their DLIs will not be required to monitor and provide supports to these students before and after they travel to Canada? Are institutions expected to play a role around vaccination verification for international students? Will they need to keep records of students’ vaccination certificates on file?

A. Travellers are required to retain evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination, including the certified translation, for at least 14 days after their entry to Canada and provide them, on request, to any official of the Government of Canada including a public health official or of the government of a province/territory or local public health authority of the place where the traveler is located.


Q. If students refuse to comply with quarantine measures, which enforcement authorities should be notified?

A. If a student is believed to be non-compliant with quarantine requirements or any other requirement of the Emergency Orders, the appropriate enforcement authority to contact would be your local police. This ensures that measures can be taken to mitigate potential health risk as quickly as possible.

You may also wish to advise as well with information regarding the traveller’s name and date of birth, for appropriate follow up.

Students found in non-compliance with the emergency orders may be subject to a fine of $5,000 under the Contraventions Act.


Q. What if a student tests positive while in quarantine?

A. Students who test positive while in quarantine must remain in isolation for 14 days from the date the sample was taken and which has been validated by the test provider at their DLI’s prescribed Suitable Place of Isolation. To prepare for these circumstances, students are required to demonstrate before departing for Canada that they have the financial means to support an extended stay in a quarantine facility in case isolation is required. DLIs with pre-approved quarantine facilities are responsible for ensuring that students have transportation from the Government Authorized Accommodation, and are able to remain at the facility until the end of their isolation period.


Q. What is a designated quarantine facility (DQF) and what is its purpose?

A. A designated quarantine facility is a facility that has been designated under the Quarantine Act as a place used for the detention of a traveller. A traveller cannot enter or leave a quarantine facility without the authorization of a quarantine officer. Under the Emergency Orders, the designated quarantine facility is used as a last resort for the detention of travellers who have no other ability to meet quarantine and isolation requirements.

International students must make quarantine and isolation plans with their DLIs in advance of their arrival at the border and are expected to have the financial means to support themselves for the full quarantine period, including the 3-night stay at a Government Authorized Accommodations, and any extended period of isolation should they test positive.


Q. If students test positive on arrival in Canada, will they stay at a designated quarantine facility?

A. Accommodation at a designated quarantine facility is only for exceptional circumstances for those with no other options. International students are responsible for ensuring that they have adequate financial resources to support their quarantine and isolation plans. International students must not expect to receive free lodging and medical care. No medical care is available at designated quarantine facilities.

  • Students should be aware of and disregard all messaging on social media platforms to the effect that they should cancel their quarantine bookings because it is possible to quarantine for free at designated quarantine facilities. This information is false and misleading.