Prepare your quarantine (self-isolation) plan

All travellers to Canada must quarantine upon arrival. UBC has a self-isolation program to help.

Fully vaccinated travellers

Fully vaccinated travellers who received vaccines approved in Canada are exempt from the 14 day quarantine and day-8 COVID-19 test. 

You will need to have a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case the border officer determines you do not meet the requirements of a fully vaccinated traveller. 

To be considered a fully vaccinated traveller, you must: 

  • Have received the full series of an accepted vaccine, or combination of accepted vaccines, at least 14 days before entering Canada. This currently includes:
    • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
    • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
    • AstraZeneca/COVIDSHIELD COVID-19 vaccine
    • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
  • Have proof of vaccination in English or French, or have a certified translation, and upload this in the ArriveCAN app
  • Have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Meet all other entry requirements, such as a pre-arrival test
  • Be eligible to enter Canada (check step 1)

Before travelling to Canada you must provide proof of vaccination into the ArriveCAN app, which has been updated on August 9. You will also need to keep a paper or electronic copy of your vaccination and original certified translations. Your vaccination(s) can be completed in any country.

As of August 9, 2021, if you are fully vaccinated and travelling with your unvaccinated children under 12 years of age, they will no longer need to complete a 14 day quarantine, but must follow federal and provincial or territorial public health measures such as avoiding group settings. They must still take the pre-arrival COVID-19 test, on-arrival test and day-8 test. 

If you are 12-17 years old, or 18 years and older who needs support due to a mental or physical condition, and are travelling with a fully vaccinated parent, you will need to follow all testing requirements and quarantine for 14 days if you are not fully vaccinated. For more information, please visit the government website on Travelling with children or dependents who are not fully vaccinated.

You will need to keep a list of close contacts for your first 14 days in Canada and follow public health requirements and self-isolate or quarantine if you test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has tested positive.

If the CBSA officer determines that you are not eligible to be considered a fully-vaccinated traveller, you will need to quarantine for 14 days, and take the day 8 COVID-19 test.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada and fully-vaccinated travellers entering Canada during COVID-19 for arrival steps.

If you need to be vaccinated in Canada

There is no requirement to be vaccinated to travel to Canada.

The list of vaccines approved by the government of Canada may be expanded in the future. Please see approved COVID-19 vaccines for updates. At this time there are no exemptions for partially vaccinated travellers.

When you arrive in British Columbia you will be able to be vaccinated for free. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for international students.

Your quarantine (self-isolation) plan

Anyone entering Canada must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival if you are not fully vaccinated, even if you have provided a negative COVID-19 molecular test result. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you will not be permitted to travel to Canada.

Even if you are fully vaccinated you must still prepare a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case the officer determines you are not eligible as a fully vaccinated traveller.

You are responsible for arranging your own quarantine plan, and you must satisfy the CBSA officer that you have made appropriate quarantine arrangements to enter Canada. You must submit your plan through the ArriveCAN app and bring documents relating to your quarantine plans and present them to the officer when you arrive. This applies whether you meet the above criteria of a fully vaccinated traveller or not. 

You will also need to wear a non-medical mask or face covering on your flight and keep it on until you get to your place of isolation.

Some travellers are exempt from quarantine.

If you need connecting flights in Canada, contact CBSA for advice on where to quarantine and travelling to your final destination, as well as changing locations during your quarantine period. We will update the guide when more information becomes available. If you will be changing quarantine locations, you’ll need to have a plan for how you will safely get from one location to another, and you’ll need to wear a non-medical mask while you are in transit.

If you are fully vaccinated and if your long-term accommodation does not already meet the quarantine criteria, at this time it is not clear if you must have proof of pre-booked accommodation. You can contact CBSA for advice. Your options depend on your level of risk tolerance. The safest option would be to book suitable quarantine accommodation with a reasonable refund policy and consider keeping your booking until the officer you meet in Canada confirms you are exempt from quarantine. Anecdotal evidence suggests pre-booking may not be required for fully vaccinated travellers, though this will depend on your individual situation and the officer will make the final decision on your entry to Canada and quarantine. We will update this guide when more information becomes available.

Your quarantine plan must consider:

  • The location of your 14-day quarantine
  • How you will travel to your quarantine location
  • Arrangements for your necessary support such as food, medication, child care, or cleaning supplies

When making your quarantine plan, carefully review and follow these guidelines:

See ordering food in self-isolation for helpful options and resources.

If you are planning on bringing medication or health products with you, check that the quantity or type is not restricted. Visit bringing health products into Canada for personal use for details. See tips on traveling with medication

If you require a prescription during self-isolation, you can request a phone appointment with a clinic, such as Student Health Service and University Village Medical and Dental Clinic (both accept iMED). Some pharmacies deliver prescriptions, such as University Pharmacy (accepts iMED), Pharmacy BC and London Drugs

If you are moving into a shared unit (any space that shares a washroom and/or kitchen with another student) in a residence managed by UBC Student Housing, you must quarantine in a different, private space before moving into your shared unit space. Contact UBC Housing if you have questions.

Getting to your place of isolation

You must go directly to your final place of quarantine without delay and wear a non-medical mask or face covering while you travel.  

For transportation options and guidelines, see YVR’s transportation options and getting to your place of quarantine.

If you have questions about your quarantine plan

UBC International Student Advising cannot confirm if your individual plan will be sufficient and does not need to approve your quarantine plan.

You can use the assess your quarantine plan tool for guidance. 

If you have questions about your quarantine plan, contact Service BC for guidance—you can find their contact information on the right side of their page. You can also contact CBSA

Submit your quarantine plan in the ArriveCAN app

After you’ve created your quarantine plan, you are required to submit your 14 day quarantine plan through the ArriveCAN mobile app within 48 hours before arriving in Canada. All travellers will also be required to disclose COVID-19 vaccine information, including whether you received one, the brand name, when it was administered and doses received. The ArriveCAN app was updated on August 9 - be sure to download the latest version. If you are a fully vaccinated traveller you will also need to upload an official translation if it’s not in English or French.

After you have submitted your information, be sure to save the receipt, such as a printout or screenshot of the app on your phone, as you might need to show this to airline staff before boarding a flight and will need to show this to a CBSA officer on arrival. 

UBC Self-isolation packages and resources

See tips and resources on how to self-isolate, access food, stay physically active and mentally healthy and more on UBC’s Self-Isolation Information website

If you need a place to live while you quarantine, UBC provides on-campus self-isolation packages that include accommodation, meals, as well as planning and self-care resources.  Off-campus options are also available.

If you are required to quarantine upon entry to Canada to begin or continue your studies, you may be eligible for the UBC Quarantine Bursary.

See accommodation options

Register for your COVID-19 molecular test on arrival in Canada

Register for your arrival COVID-19 test at the airport or land border before you travel for faster processing. There is no fee for on arrival testing.

If travelling by air, register at your first airport of arrival in Canada.

If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to register in advance but you may be randomly selected for the on arrival COVID-19 test.