Quarantine or isolation

Immediate restrictions for travellers arriving from Southern Africa region

Canadians citizens, those registered under the Indian Act, and permanent residents, who have been in the Southern Africa region within the previous 14 days, including South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia:

  • must follow new pre-entry testing before continuing their journey to Canada, and post-arrival requirements

Foreign nationals who have been in these countries within the period of 14 days will not be permitted entry into Canada.

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Who can come to Canada

Canadian citizens (including dual citizens), people registered under the Indian Act, permanent residents of Canada, or protected persons (refugee status) are allowed to enter Canada.

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals may be allowed enter Canada for discretionary (tourism) travel.

Foreign nationals who don't qualify as fully vaccinated will only be allowed to enter in specific circumstances:

Find out if you can enter Canada

Who is exempt from quarantine

You may be exempt from the mandatory quarantine requirements under certain conditions, including if you:

Find out if your travel is exempt

Planning your quarantine

Assess your quarantine plan

You must submit a quarantine plan even if you are a fully vaccinated traveller. This is because your eligibility to be exempt from quarantine will be determined at the border.

If you do not meet the requirements of a fully vaccinated traveller, you will be either denied entry into Canada, required to quarantine for 14 days, or required to quarantine until you depart Canada.

You must demonstrate that you have a suitable plan for quarantine.

Assess whether your plan is likely to be considered suitable:

Assess your quarantine plan

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

Shared living spaces where you can't quarantine

You cannot quarantine in group living environments

Some examples include:

  • a small apartment you share with others
  • a shared household with a large family or families or many people
  • a shelter, group home, group residence, hostels, industrial camps, construction trailers or other group setting
  • a student residence (unless you’ve received prior authorization)
  • 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.

Avoiding contact with people at risk

You can’t quarantine in a place where you’ll 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
    • First responders, such as paramedics
    • 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 quarantine with people in these situations if:

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

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

If you do not have a suitable place to quarantine

Some travellers may be unable to quarantine at home or their final destination. In these cases, travellers are expected to make alternative arrangements for their return to Canada. Although alternative accommodations (e.g. with family or friends, or paid accommodation) may be suitable, the Government of Canada does not reimburse for expenses incurred for accommodations, including hotels, RV rentals and trailer park or campground fees.

Make your quarantine plans in advance of your arrival to Canada. Foreign nationals who do not have a suitable plan may be denied entry into Canada. If you do not have a suitable place to quarantine, you may be directed to a federal designated quarantine facility where you must remain for your entire mandatory quarantine.

Before travellers are directed to a federal designated quarantine facility, government representatives may work with them to confirm that all other options for quarantine accommodations within their own means have been exhausted.

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

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

Right to legal counsel

If you’re instructed to go to a designated quarantine facility, you have the right to retain legal counsel without delay. If you need more information about your legal rights and obligations, a Government of Canada officer can assist you.

Consular notice to Foreign Nationals entering Canada

If you’re a foreign national and instructed to go to a designated quarantine facility, you have the right to request consular assistance under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations treaty.

If you require assistance finding the contact information for your embassy or consulate, please visit: Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Submit your quarantine plan

If coming to Canada as a final destination, all non-exempt travellers must use ArriveCAN to submit their plan.

Use ArriveCAN to submit your travel and quarantine plans

You may be asked questions about your plans for quarantine upon arrival.

How to quarantine

When your quarantine starts and ends

Your quarantine period begins on the day that you arrive in Canada.

For example, if you arrive at 8:15 am on Thursday, October 1, then Thursday is considered day 1 of your quarantine period. Your quarantine period would end 14 full days later, at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, October 14.

If you begin to show symptoms during your quarantine, are exposed to another traveller with symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19, you must begin 10 days of isolation. Your first day of isolation is the day when you received your test result or the day when the symptoms started.

Leaving Canada during your quarantine period

If you do not have symptoms, you may choose to leave Canada before the end of the 14-day quarantine period. However, you must:

  • continue to quarantine yourself until your departure date
  • wear a mask when you depart Canada
  • comply with all regulations for the country of destination

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

COVID-19 testing or medical emergencies while in quarantine

You may seek testing or medical treatment, provided that you resume your quarantine immediately afterwards.

If you need assistance to access medical treatment, an exception may be made to allow one other person to accompany you, which can include a person who is also under mandatory quarantine.

If the person who needs to visit a health care facility is a dependent child, the exception extends to one other person who accompanies them.

Definition of a dependent child

Children qualify as dependants if they:

  • are under 22 years old and
  • don’t have a spouse or partner

Children 22 or older qualify as dependants if they:

  • have depended on their parents for financial support since before they were 22 and
  • can’t financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition

Should you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during quarantine, you must begin isolation for 10 days from the date you received your test result or the day when your symptoms started.

Agricultural, agri-food and seafood employers

There are specific requirements for the employers of this group of temporary foreign workers.

Agricultural, agri-food and seafood quarantine and testing requirements

Getting to your place of quarantine

Driving to your place of quarantine

While you travel, you must wear a mask and practice physical distancing at all times.

Public health measures to follow while in transit to your suitable place of quarantine:

  • You can use public transportation (e.g. aircraft, bus, train, subway, taxi or ride-sharing service) to get to your place of quarantine, however practice physical distancing of at least 2 metres whenever possible.
  • Wear a well-constructed, well-fitting mask while in transit, unless you are alone in a private vehicle or traveling only with the same people you entered Canada with.
  • Avoid contact with others and sanitize your hands frequently.
  • If driving, avoid stops and remain in the vehicle as much as possible: pay at the pump for gas and use a drive through if you need to stop for food.

Check provincial or territorial requirements

How to report after you've entered Canada

Unless you qualified as a fully vaccinated traveller, the day after you arrive in Canada, all travellers, whether you travel by air, land or marine, must use ArriveCAN to:

Report via ArriveCAN or phone

While in quarantine

Quarantining with others in the same household

Federal quarantine only applies to travellers who have entered Canada.

Travellers who are under quarantine must avoid contact with anyone they did not travel with:

  • stay in separate rooms
  • keep surfaces clean
  • avoid sharing personal items
  • limit interactions with others in the household

Co-habitants should also follow the guidance of their local public health authorities.

Expect calls, emails and visits from the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada uses the information you provided in ArriveCAN to verify that you:

You will receive live or automated calls. You must answer calls from 1-888-336-7735 and answer all questions truthfully to demonstrate your compliance with the law.

You will receive email reminders of your quarantine requirements.

Getting a visit from a screening officer

You may also receive in-person visits from a screening officer at your place of quarantine.

Designated screening officers are contracted and trained to conduct on-site visits on behalf of the Government of Canada.

To protect your health and safety, screening officers wear personal protective equipment and will practice physical distancing.

Screening officers will:

  • ask to speak to you by name
  • show their company identification
  • show their authorization from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which may be signed by hand or electronically
  • ask you for Government-issued identification, such as passport or driver’s license, to confirm your identity
  • ask questions to verify you are following the quarantine requirements

Screening officers will not:

  • ask to enter your home
  • copy or retain your identification
  • issue fines
  • request or accept payment of any kind, including cash, for outstanding fines

COVID-19 testing during your quarantine

All travellers are required to take a COVID-19 test on arrival and another on Day 8 of their quarantine. Follow the testing instructions for your method of entry:

Flying to Canada: COVID-19 testing requirements
Driving to Canada: COVID-19 testing requirements

Penalties, fines and reporting someone

Consequences for failure to comply with the Emergency Order

Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to fines, imprisonment or both.

Visits from law enforcement officers

At any time, if the Government of Canada has reason to believe you are not complying with the Emergency Order, you may be referred to law enforcement for follow up. This includes if you:

  • provide false information
  • fail to respond to calls and emails
  • do not answer relevant compliance questions when asked by a screening officer
  • do not come to the door or are not home when visited by a screening officer

Law enforcement officers may visit and can issue:

  • verbal warnings
  • written warnings
  • fines, tickets or penalties
  • court summons

Penalties, fines and imprisonment

Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to:

If you break your mandatory quarantine or isolation requirements and you cause the death or serious bodily harm to another person, you could face:

The Contraventions Act provides police (including RCMP, provincial and local police) the authority to enforce the Quarantine Act. Tickets with fines of up to $5,000 may be issued for non-compliance.

If you receive a fine, you must still comply fully with the mandatory testing and quarantine requirements outlined in the Quarantine, Isolation and Other Obligations Order. Additionally, if you receive a fine, you’re considered at high-risk of non-compliance, and flagged as a high priority for follow up by local law enforcement.

Examples of behaviour that could result in the $5000 fine
  • Presenting fake documents (for example, fake proof of a COVID-19 test result) upon arrival in Canada
  • Arriving at a land border or airport without a valid COVID-19 molecular test result
  • Refusing to take a COVID-19 molecular test at the airport upon arrival or refusing to take a Day-8 test
  • Leaving quarantine prior to the end of the 14th day
  • Failing to complete the isolation period if symptomatic or have reasonable grounds to suspect COVID-19 infection

With symptoms: Mandatory isolation

Foreign nationals with symptoms will not be allowed to enter Canada.

Only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, persons registered under the Indian Act, and protected persons (refugee status) may enter Canada with symptoms. You will not be able to board a flight and enter Canada by air if you have symptoms.

You must go directly to the place where you will isolate and stay there for 10 days. This is mandatory and starts from the date you arrive in Canada.

During the 10-day period from the time you enter Canada, you are required to answer any relevant questions asked by a Government of Canada employee.

Isolating upon returning to Canada

If you are arriving by air and show symptoms you will be directed to a federal quarantine facility or another suitable place of isolation.

If you are arriving by land and show symptoms, you must demonstrate that you have an adequate plan for isolation to avoid infecting others. You are expected to make plans, within your own means, before travelling to Canada. If you do not have a suitable place, you will be directed to a federal quarantine facility.

Where you can isolate with symptoms

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
  • have no visits from family, friends or guests
  • can use a separate bedroom and bathroom; you may only use a shared bathroom if permitted by a quarantine officer

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
  • you complete a form with a government representative 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 symptoms 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 permitted by a quarantine officer
  • Practice physical distancing of at least 2 metres at all times

Co-habitants should also follow the guidance of their local public health authorities.

Getting to your place of isolation with symptoms (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 well-constructed, well-fitting mask while in transit, unless you are alone in a private vehicle.
  • 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.
  • We encourage all travellers to check provincial and territorial restrictions
How to report after you've entered Canada

All 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, you may receive phone calls or public health follow-ups. Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to fines.

Find out how to report via ArriveCAN or phone

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

Make your quarantine plans in advance of your arrival at the border crossing. If you do not have an adequate place to isolate, or do not have private transportation to your place of isolation, you will 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 medical emergencies while in isolation

You may seek testing or time-sensitive medical treatment, provided that you resume your designated quarantine immediately afterwards. During your isolation, you must undergo any health assessments that a quarantine officer requires

You must:

  • wear a medical mask (if possible) 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 while showing symptoms

You will not be able to take public transportation. You must depart using private transportation only, such as your private vehicle. You will not 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 medical mask (where possible) or non-medical mask while in transit
  • 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 are in a federal designated quarantine facility, you must get authorization from a quarantine officer to leave.

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