What you should know about quarantining in Canadian universities

Canadian universities
Many Canadian universities are offering on-campus quarantine plans, but packages vary depending on the institution. Source: Daniel Slim/AFP

Incoming international students to Canadian universities are probably aware that fully vaccinated travellers could be exempted from quarantining in Canada if it has been 14 days since your vaccine’s final dose. Despite this, students are still required to have a plan for your quarantine in Canada, regardless of whether you use it or not. This is in case the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) deems it necessary. 

You must consider the 14 days of self-quarantine when deciding on your arrival date in the country. Many Canadian universities are offering students quarantine packages in preparation for their campus life. Here are some general guidelines on what you can expect for on and off-campus quarantining:

Canadian universities

If you need to quarantine in Canada, be aware that prices for plans will vary. Source: Cole Burston/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

On-campus quarantine plan

While many Canadian universities offer on-campus quarantine plans, packages vary depending on the institution and typically don’t include housekeeping. The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) UBC Self-Isolation Package, for instance, costs 79 Canadian dollars per day plus tax, or CA$45 per day plus tax (subsidised rate for students facing financial hardship). 

The package includes wifi, three meals, and amenities such as a furnished unit with an unequipped kitchen and a private washroom with a shower. “Personal and health supports including direct access to medical professionals and other wellbeing supports, even after-hours,” notes UBC. Their package includes a non-refundable deposit.

The University of Ottawa’s quarantine package is only offered to uOttawa students and people travelling with them. The university’s quarantine package provides students with accommodation in a private room; three meals; regular check-ins from uOttawa’s community and peer support team, as well as from their quarantine support team; and assistance in case you develop COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result while in quarantine. 

Like UBC, housekeeping services are not offered. Students will pay for any incidental expenses, such as long-distance calls. The university notes that there is no charge if you modify or cancel your plans before arriving in Canada.

Cancel your accommodation ahead of time if you no longer need it or cannot arrive on your scheduled arrival date, as some universities may charge a fee if you fail to cancel your accommodation.

canadian universities

If you are fully vaccinated, you may be exempted from having to quarantine in Canada. Source: Andy Buchanan/AFP

Off-campus quarantine in Canada

Many Canadian universities also have suggestions for off-campus quarantine plans that may cost slightly more than on-campus quarantining, depending on the package offered. UBC notes that students can opt to quarantine at places such as Residence Inn in Vancouver, which costs CA$119 per night plus taxes. Holiday Inn Vancouver Airport costs CA$154 per night plus taxes.  

Students can also look into options such as the Study Safe Corridor (SSC) Travel Safe programme can help students arrange their quarantine in Canada.

Their quarantine plan is comprehensive. It includes:

  • a 14-night quarantine hotel stay upon arrival in your destination city
  • three daily meals
  • COVID-safe transportation
  • a health insurance plan with COVID-19 coverage
  • access to mental wellness counselling services
  • a Canadian phone number, and SIM card for your mobile device for one month
  • necessary Study Safe documentation to ensure you are fully informed of travel and arrival requirements and have a smooth entry process into Canada or your school’s province.
  • a flight package that includes a discounted airfare reserved exclusively for students.