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February 4, 2021

New testing and quarantine requirements for travellers to Canada

Based on recent conversations with officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), we understand that the Government of Canada intends to include international students as travellers who would be subject to these recently announced testing and quarantine requirements. At this point, we understand that International students would be tested at the point of entry (Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver) and would be required to book a stay of at least three days at a nearby government-approved hotel. Should they test negative, they can complete the remaining 11 days of their quarantine in accordance with their institutions COVID-19 readiness plan (approved on-campus residences will continue to be eligible for this portion of the quarantine).

We understand that these new measures will be outlined in an Order-in-Council but it remains unclear as to when exactly they would come into effect (a press release from Transport Canada cites ‘as soon as possible in the coming weeks’, this was repeated by officials from IRCC and PHAC). The Government of Canada intends to outline a set of requirements that hotels will need to meet in order to be eligible to receive international travellers. We expressed our concern with the figure of $2,000 being shared publicly, and stressed the importance of keeping costs as low as possible for incoming international students.

We’re following up with PHAC, IRCC, and other Government departments and will provide more details as soon as we can. CICan is also coordinating with provincial/regional associations and other national education associations to determine what further interventions could be considered to limit the negative impacts of additional measures for international students.

Finally, we’ve also been pushing for provisions related to online studies and PGWP eligibility to be extended to the end of 2021. We know that this is top of mind, at the highest levels within the department and with officials from Minister Mendocino’s office. We’re optimistic that the April 30 date will be extended and continue to stress the time-sensitive nature of this decision.

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