COVID-19 travel: Mandatory isolation after entering Canada

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When you must isolate after entering Canada

There are three situations when you must isolate for 10 days. Follow the instructions and 10-day timeframe for your situation:

Isolating after a positive test result on arrival or Day-8

If you receive a positive arrival or Day-8 COVID-19 molecular test result from a test required by the Government of Canada, you must report to the Public Health Agency of Canada within 24 hours by calling 1-833-641-0343 and isolate immediately. This applies to any federal government-required test that you were selected to complete, including a mandatory random test.

Your isolation period ends after the 10th day from the day on which you took the test.

Isolating if you start having symptoms

If you and/or your unvaccinated or partially vaccinated child under the age of 12 start having symptoms in the 14-day period after you arrive, and you qualified as a fully vaccinated traveller, you should all isolate for a period of 10 days from the start of symptoms.

If you don’t qualify as fully vaccinated and you start having symptoms while you quarantine and/or while you’re required to monitor for symptoms, you must report to the Public Health Agency of Canada within 24 hours by calling 1-833-641-0343 and isolate immediately for an additional period of 10 days.

You only need to report your symptoms during your 14-day quarantine.

Isolation period ends after the 10th day from the day on which you started experiencing symptoms.

Isolation immediately after entering Canada

Only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, persons registered under the Indian Act, protected persons, refugee claimants and resettled refugees may enter Canada with symptoms or a current positive test result. However, you may face a fine of up to $5000, plus applicable surcharges.

You must isolate for 10 days starting on the day you enter Canada, if you:

  • know that you have COVID-19 or
  • show signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or
  • have received a positive result for any type of COVID-19 test taken less than 10 days before the day on which you enter Canada or
  • have any other reasonable grounds to suspect you may have COVID-19

Isolation ends after the 10th day from the day on which you entered Canada.

Getting to your place of isolation (final destination)
  • Go directly to your place of isolation without delay and stay there for 10 days from the date you arrived in Canada
  • Do not use public transportation (e.g. aircraft, bus, train, subway, taxi or ride-sharing service) to get to your place of isolation.
  • Wear a respirator or well-constructed, well-fitting mask while in transit, unless you are alone in a private vehicle.
  • If transit by car is necessary, remain in the vehicle as much as possible: pay at the pump for gas and use drive through when you need food.
  • Avoid stops and contact with others while in transit.
  • Sanitize your hands frequently.

Report you've arrived at your place of isolation

All symptomatic or COVID-19 positive travellers, whether you travel by land, air or sea, must report their arrival at their place of isolation within 48 hours after entry into Canada.

You will receive phone calls or public health follow-ups upon your arrival in Canada. If you don't complete your reports after you’ve entered Canada, you will be in violation of the Emergency Order. Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to fines.

How to report via ArriveCAN or phone

For isolation requirements for cruise ships, use cruise ship travel.

When federal and provincial or territorial requirements are different

Federal rules for quarantine and isolation after entering Canada are different from the provincial or territorial rules. In this case, you must follow the stricter rules.

For example, if you must isolate after testing positive on your arrival molecular COVID-19 test that was provided to you at the border, you must stay in mandatory isolation for 10 days, even if your province only requires 5 days of isolation.

Getting emails or calls about quarantine or testing

If you have an A, I, or V next to your name on your ArriveCAN receipt, you should not receive further emails or notifications from ArriveCAN.

If you did not have an A, I, or V next to your name on your ArriveCAN receipt, you did not qualify as fully vaccinated and will get post-border notifications.

If your submission included travellers who are not exempt from the requirement to quarantine (e.g., unvaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds or unvaccinated dependent adults), you will receive ArriveCAN notifications and will be asked to complete daily reporting for the unvaccinated travellers.

If you are receiving notifications that don't reflect your situation, use the ArriveCAN contact form so that your situation can be resolved:

Contact ArriveCAN form

How to isolate

Do

Don't

Where you can isolate

You'll need to confirm you have a suitable place to isolate where you:

  • can stay for 10 days or possibly longer
  • have access to the necessities of life, including water, food, medication and heat without leaving isolation
  • can avoid contact with others who did not travel with you
  • use a separate bedroom and bathroom; you may only use a shared bathroom if this was discussed and permitted by a quarantine officer at your time of entry or upon receiving a positive arrival molecular COVID-19 test result

You must isolate in a place where you won't have contact with people who:

  • are 65 years or older
  • have underlying medical conditions
  • have compromised immune systems
  • work or assist in a facility, home or workplace that includes at-risk populations, including:
    • Nurses, doctors, other healthcare professionals, personal support workers, social workers, and developmental services support staff
    • First responders, such as paramedics, police officers, firefighters
    • Cleaning and maintenance staff, receptionists and administrative staff, food services staff, volunteers, essential visitors to those living in long-term care facilities

You may only isolate with people in these situations if:

  • they consent to the isolation or are the parent or minor in a parent-minor relationship
  • a government representative completes a form for you at the border crossing explaining the consent and receive authorization to proceed

In these limited circumstances, a government representative will confirm consent.

You cannot isolate in group living environments

Some examples include:

  • a shelter, group home, group residence, hostels, industrial camps, construction trailers or other group setting
  • a student residence (unless you’ve received prior authorization)
  • a small apartment you share with others
  • a shared household with a large family or families or many people
  • shared living spaces with housemates who haven’t travelled with you that you cannot avoid interacting with

Learn more about mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in congregate living settings.

Isolating with others in the same household

Mandatory isolation only applies to travellers who have entered Canada.

Travellers who are under isolation should:

  • avoid all in-person interaction with others, including members of your household, if possible.
    • when unable to avoid sharing a space with members of your household, everyone should wear a medical mask or a well-constructed and well-fitting non-medical mask
    • shared spaces should be well-ventilated by opening windows, as weather permits
    • all household members should practice hand-hygiene, and cleaning/disinfecting surfaces and objects
  • Only go outside on a private balcony or yard while respecting physical distancing from other household members
  • use a separate bedroom and bathroom; you may only use a shared bathroom if this was discussed and permitted by a quarantine officer at your time of entry or upon receiving a positive arrival molecular COVID-19 test result
  • Practice physical distancing of at least 2 metres at all times

Co-habitants should also follow the guidance of their local public health authorities when they require additional safety measures.

If someone you travelled with must isolate

Mandatory isolation only applies to travellers who have entered Canada and are symptomatic or have tested positive on a government-required COVID-19 test.

If you didn’t qualify as fully vaccinated and entered Canada with a traveller who is required to isolate for 10 days, you don’t have to isolate. However, as an unvaccinated traveller, you must still quarantine for 14 days from the day you entered Canada.

If you qualified as a fully vaccinated traveller and entered Canada with a traveller who is required to isolate, you don’t have to isolate. However, if you were selected for mandatory random testing on arrival and you receive positive results, you must isolate for 10 days. Your isolation period starts from the day you took the test.

If you do not have a suitable place to isolate or do not have private transportation

If you do not have an adequate place to isolate, or do not have private transportation to your place of isolation, you could be directed to a federal designated quarantine facility where you must remain for 10 days. Before travellers are directed to a federal designated quarantine facility government representatives will work to confirm that all other options for isolation accommodations within their own means have been exhausted.

These facilities are a last resort for travellers who have no options of meeting isolation requirements by other means.

Where required, transportation from the border crossing to a federal designated quarantine facility will be provided by the Government of Canada.

COVID-19 testing or essential medical emergencies while in isolation

You may seek COVID-19 testing or essential medical emergencies or treatments, provided that you resume your isolation immediately afterwards. During your isolation, you must undergo any health assessments that a quarantine officer requires.

If you’re going for COVID-19 testing or essential medical emergency or treatment, you must:

  • wear a respirator or mask
  • practice physical distancing at all times, where possible
  • use private transportation only, such as your private vehicle
  • follow any additional instructions from your local public health authorities
If you leave Canada during your isolation period

You’ll need permission from a Quarantine Officer to leave Canada during your isolation period.

Send a request to leave Canada

You won't be able to take public transportation. You must depart using private transportation only, such as your private vehicle. You won't be able to board a flight to depart Canada. You must also comply with all regulations for the country of destination.

You must:

  • wear a respirator or mask
  • practice physical distancing at all times, where possible
  • avoid contact with others while in transit
    • remain in the vehicle
    • do not stay at a hotel on the way to your new destination
    • if you need gas, pay at the pump
    • if you need food, use a drive through
    • if you need to use a rest area, put on your mask and be mindful of physical distancing and good hygiene practices

If you're in a federal designated quarantine facility, you must get authorization from a quarantine officer to leave.

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