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New Canadian Border Measures Announced to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new border measures on Friday, including additional mandatory quarantine rules, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

These new measures, which come into effect on Monday, February 22, 2021, include mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at Canadian for travellers entering Canada. This is in addition to the negative COVID-19 test that travellers must present. While travellers await their test results, they must quarantine for up to three days at a designated hotel at their own expense, which is expected to cost more than C$2,000. 

Following a negative test result, travellers must complete the remainder of their mandatory 14-day quarantine at home, under heightened surveillance.

This will apply to all travellers entering Canada, with “very limited exceptions.” At this point, no clear statement has been made about students being exempt from these new rules. More details are expected to be announced in the coming days.

“With the challenges we currently face with COVID-19, both here at home and abroad, we all agree that now is just not the time to be flying,” said Trudeau. In an attempt to discourage international travel, Canada’s major airlines are halting flights to the Caribbean and Mexico through April 30.

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What Does This Mean for International Students?

To be eligible to enter Canada, an international student must:

  • Be studying at a DLI with an approved readiness plan
  • Have, or have been approved for, a valid study permit
  • Be coming to Canada for a non-discretionary or non-optional purpose
  • Meet the negative COVID-19 laboratory test requirements 
  • Undergo a PCR test upon arrival in Canadian airport
  • While waiting for test results, students must quarantine for up to three days at a designated hotel at their own expense
  • Complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine at their home in Canada

Australia and the United Kingdom

The announcement comes on the heels of Australia and the United Kingdom (UK) adopting similar requirements.

Most travellers entering Australia must quarantine for 14-days at a government-arranged hotel, at a cost of AU$2,800 per adult. The cost is considerably higher for a family of four.

On Thursday, the UK announced that travellers coming from high-risk countries must quarantine in a hotel for 14-days at their own expense.

For the most up-to-date information regarding travelling to Canada and COVID-19, visit the Government of Canada website.