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Travelling to Canada during the pandemic

If you have received your visa, here’s your travelling and quarantine checklist

While the government of Canada has allowed students with visas to travel and pursue their studies in the country, there is a lot of precautions that need to be followed to keep COVID-19 at bay. In this article, we’ll outline how students who are travelling to Canada can remain safe and have access to all the support they require during their travel and quarantine period. 

Three terms that you’ll hear the most when you travel during COVID-19: 

  • Social/physical distancing: This means you’ll have to maintain a minimum distance of two metres or six feet distance between you and others and avoid crowded places.

  • Self-isolation and quarantine: Once you reach, you’ll have to stay at home or a place of isolation to avoid coming in contact with others. 

  • Self-Monitoring: You’ll need to observe and monitor your health regularly

Before you leave for Canada

Congratulations on acquiring your visa and that you are finally travelling to Canada. Before you leave for Canada, I would recommend that you have your isolation plan ready. This means:

  1. You should have easy access to information that will come in handy the most – the address where you will be staying, contact details of the person you would be staying with, other emergency contacts, etc. (during and after quarantine, if these are separate addresses).

  2. If you do not have a place to quarantine, isolate in the facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

  3. Check with your institution if there is any checklist or precautions you need to follow.

  4. Carry a list of supplies for your quarantine, such as 30-60 disposable face masks, 1 cloth face mask, one large bottle of quality sanitiser, a box of nitrile gloves, thermometer, face tissues, wet wipes, clothing, toiletries, etc. 

Since COVID-19 symptoms take about 5-14 days to develop and appear, I strongly recommend you to get tested before your travel to ensure the safety of both others and you. 

Travel advisory during covid-19

At the airport 

At the given moment, only four international airports are operational in Canada to allow anyone into the country – Toronto Pearson Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Monreal-Traudeau International Airport and Calgary International Airport. I would advise you to make your travel arrangements accordingly. 

When you reach immigration checks at the airport, you might be questioned by the border officials about your visit. Ensure you are prepared with the right answers and your documentation is complete, else you may be denied entry any further. Few common questions asked by border officials include, “Why is this travel essential for you? Where have you planned your mandatory isolation for the next 14 days? Do you have anyone in Canada?” etc.  

Always stay updated, but only from reliable sources like the Canadian Government website, Canadian news channels such as CBC, CTV, and Global News, and keep in regular touch with your institutions and IDP counsellor. 

When you reach Canada 

As a mandate, you’ll have to self-isolate for 14 days, irrespective of having any COVID-19 symptoms or not. Remember, your quarantine begins the moment you land in Canada. Upon reaching Canada, please ensure

  • Go directly to the location of your isolation using private transport such as Uber, Lyft and Yellow Cab. Do not use any public transport 

  • Do not make any stops enroute your destination from the airport (no stops for groceries, medication, chargers, or anything you didn’t pack with you!)

  • Stay indoors until you complete the 14 days’ isolation period

  • Plan your isolation period in advance 

  • If you need to order food, you may consider UberEats, Skipthedishes, Flipp for doorstep delivery. For groceries, you may reach out to Walmart, Costco, PC Express, Instacart, etc. 

  • Keep a list of local health authorities handy. You may use this list as shared by the government of Canada. This list also charts out expected behaviour and conduct upon reaching Canada 

Most institutions arrange safe airport pickups for their students. It is a good idea to check with the concerned department before you leave from India. 

If you have any concerns, queries or apprehensions, feel free to reach out to your IDP counsellor who’ll be more than happy to guide you through. Keep safe, bon voyage!

Updated on October 8, 2020

IDP Study Abroad Insights

For students like you interested in studying in Canada, we have a wonderful series – Study Abroad Insights. This web series covers the most asked questions about studying in the country answered by industry experts.

Watch more!

Read more articles on Canada by our experts

New study permit guidelines: IRCC

IRCC updates:
23 August

How to deal with culture shock

Keep posted, follow us on


Harneet Singh

Harneet Singh is an international education expert with IDP, specialising in Canada as a study abroad destination. In his role, he is actively involved in training and counselling, which has helped him evolve as a student-centric counsellor. Within a span of over two years with IDP, he has been able to guide a large number of students procure admission in top Canadian universities and colleges 

He has been associated with the international education industry for the last five years and is an international certified career coach (Foundation) and holds a masters’ degree in Computer Application



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