Traveling to Canada During COVID-19

The pandemic has no doubt put a halt to traveling. Many countries have now implemented heavy travel restrictions. For more information on travel restrictions by country, check out Kayak, as the site breaks down the current status for individual places across the globe. 

These new restrictions present major challenges for international students who are forced to travel to their university/college or want to experience the life and culture of a different country. Even after arrival, the lockdown has made accessing groceries and essential services much more difficult for people who just landed in a completely foreign environment. If you are traveling to Canada, here’s what you need to know to make your travel and on arrival quarantine as easy as possible:

According to the Government of Canada (effective February 21, 2021), to enter Canada as an international student you must have:

  • A valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows your approved study permit
  • Attend a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province.

For more information on travel exemptions, visit the Government of Canada website.


It is mandatory that international students quarantine at least 14 days in advance of the start of their program of study or curriculum. If you are an international student, you are responsible for the following during your 14-day quarantine:

  • Ensure that you have all the necessary accommodations
  • Monitoring of your own symptoms (for a list of common symptoms of COVID-19, visit COVID-19: Symptoms and Treatment)
  • Avoiding public spaces and arranging access to necessities
  • Physical distancing from others
  • Avoid contact with high-risk groups (the elderly or immunocompromised individuals)

As demonstrated by the guidelines above, hotels or residences with a common living space are not acceptable for quarantine. You should also confirm that you are eligible for healthcare coverage in Canada before departure. If not, you might want to have a private insurance plan that includes COVID-19 coverage.

The Government of Canada also encourages the use of the ArriveCan App (available on iOS and Android), which helps to provide mandatory information faster and reduce the processing time.

For more information about international student quarantine guidelines, visit: COVID -19: A Guide for International Students in Canada Arriving from Abroad

Arranging Groceries

Getting groceries can be challenging when you aren’t allowed to leave your residence or enter grocery stores. Here are some pick-up/delivery services that grocery stores offer:

Your institution may also offer quarantine packages that could include a local hotel stay as well as delivered meals or groceries, be sure to reach out and make sure.

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