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:
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:
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).
If you do not have a place to quarantine, isolate in the facility designated by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
Check with your institution if there is any checklist or precautions you need to follow.
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.
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.
Read more articles on Canada by our experts
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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