All students—international or Canadian—entering Canada from abroad will be required to quarantine for a 14-day period. We’ve brought together a number of resources to help you create your quarantine plan, which you’ll need to provide to a Canada Border Services Officer when you arrive (travellers are required to use the ArriveCAN app to prepare and submit your plan). You can still access many of our services remotely while in quarantine, and some services will be available on-campus once you have completed your quarantine.
- Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory--including McGill University--are able to reopen to international students who are currently outside Canada. Details about the new rules for entering Canada are available on the International Student Services FAQ.
- Don't forget to use the ArriveCAN app to prepare and submit your self-quarantine plan within 48 hours before arriving.
Remember, there’s no rush. Whenever you arrive, you can begin your 14-day period and study remotely at the same time.
Things to Know Before You Travel
Travellers flying to Canada must present the airline with proof of a negative COVID-19 test to be allowed to board the plane. The test must have been taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to boarding the flight and must be a PCR test. Please consult the Government of Canada website for details.
Additionally, as of February 22, 2021, all travellers (with some exceptions) will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival to Canada and quarantine for three nights at a government-authorized hotel at their own expense while they wait for the results. The estimated cost to travellers could be up to $2,000.
If the results of your COVID-19 test that you took upon arrival to Canada are negative, you can continue the rest of your 14-day quarantine at home or another pre-determined location. If the results of your COVID-19 test that you took upon arrival to Canada are positive, you will be required to complete your 14-day quarantine at a designated government facility.
Think about your arrival
- Where will you self-quarantine?
- How will you get there?
- How will you make arrangements for your support such as food, medication, child care, or cleaning supplies?
- Check out the FAQ (below) for additional tips and information.
Create your self-quarantine plan
- Review and ensure that your plan follows the Federal government's guidelines.
Submit your self-quarantine plan
- Use the ArriveCAN mobile app
You must submit your self-quarantine plan using the ArriveCAN app within 48 hours before arriving in Canada.
- Use the ArriveCAN mobile app
Check in with ArriveCAN
- As of November 21, 2020, travellers entering Canada by land, air, or sea, will be required to submit information through the ArriveCAN app during your quarantine/isolation period. Read more information via the Government of Canada's public health website.
Do I have to self-quarantine?
Students arriving from within Canada
- There are no isolation measures for people arriving from other Canadian provinces, so you do not need to self-isolate.
Students arriving from outside of Canada
- Whether you're a Canadian or international student travelling from abroad, you must quarantine for 14 days, regardless of the method of travel.
Students living in Residences
- Student Housing and Hospitality Services has a limited number of rooms available for self-isolation. In order to access those rooms, you must complete this online form on the OneCard website. See Self-Quarantine FAQs below for more information.
Students living off-campus
- If you cannot self-isolate in your apartment, there are several hotels providing accommodations for quarantine and offering a special rate to McGill students. See Question 5 in our Self-Quarantine FAQs below for more information.
1) Do I have to self-quarantine?
You must quarantine for 14 days if you are coming to Montreal from outside of Canada, whether by land or air travel. At the port of entry (land/air), the officer will ask you for your quarantine plan. You will be asked to provide basic information using the traveler contact information form (available online/paper). A border services officer will conduct a screening in order to assess any symptoms.
The government of Canada requires the use of the ArriveCan app to speed up your arrival process. You must submit your information 48 hours before arrival in Canada.
If you violate any instructions provided to you when you enter Canada, this is an offence under the Quarantine Act. Consequences may include up to $750,000 in fines and/or 6 months in prison, and/or being removed from Canada and banned from entering for one year.
2) My flight will land at the Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. Can I use public transportation to get to my quarantine location?
According to the guidelines for Montreal-Trudeau airport, only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to use ground transportation (ex. Taxi, Uber).
Taxis: Drivers must clean their cars between each customer, wear a mask and wash their hands.
Wearing a mask/face covering that covers the nose and mouth is mandatory in enclosed or partially enclosed public places, including on public transit.
3) I am an undergraduate student and plan to stay in McGill housing. Can I quarantine there?
For more information about meals, WiFi, etc., please visit the McGill Housing Covid-19 FAQ site for updated information.
4) I will not be living in McGill Housing. Where can I self-isolate/quarantine?
The McGill Housing website offers a list of downtown Montreal hotels offering rooms to quarantine in (for list, see two questions: “I am an international undergraduate student moving into McGill residences in the Fall and would need to self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days. What options are available to me?” and “I am an incoming graduate student and would need to self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days. What options are available to me?”). Make sure to ask for the McGill rate when making your reservation.
5) How and where can I get groceries?
Grocery stores in Montreal offer contact-free delivery (ex. Metro, IGA, Provigo). To pay for groceries, you will need to bring a credit card since you won’t be able to open a bank account in Canada until your quarantine period of 14 days is over. Some grocery stores may not accept foreign credit cards, however Wal-Mart and Uber Eats have been known to accept them.
6) Does the International Student Health Insurance plan cover testing for COVID-19?
The International Health Insurance (IHI) plan covers hospitalization and treatment for COVID-19 in Canada. Please refer to the Basic Health Benefits on pages 7-9 in the Medavie Blue Cross handbook for details on this coverage.
Please note, COVID-19 testing is offered free of charge in Quebec at the public testing sites. COVID-19 tests at private clinics are not covered under the IHI plan. COVID-19 tests for travel purposes (including mandatory tests upon arrival to Canada) are also not covered under the IHI plan.
As per McGill’s current recommendations, members of the McGill community who have flu-like symptoms should call 1-877-644-4545 instead of going in-person to a medical clinic. Based on your symptoms and travel history, a health care professional will advise you on the best course of action.
Additional COVID-19 & Self-Quarantine Resources
- Quarantine Support Group: If you've just returned to Montreal and are self-isolating, join our Quarantine Support Group led by the Student Wellness Hub's Local Wellness Advisors
- McGill COVID-19 Page: The latest COVID-19 information and how it impacts campus life.
- Quarantine Bursary Program: Scholarships and Student Aid has launched a new program to support students with financial concerns in anticipation of entering Canada and facing the new COVID-19 quarantine requirements at designated hotels. See Question #2 on the page linked for more details.
- What to do in Quarantine: This page of tips and resources from International Student Services includes both logistical to-do items and fun ways to keep busy while quarantining.
- Montreal Airport Travel Safety Measures
- Off-Campus Housing Resources During COVID-19: A collection of resources, precautions, and tips for off-campus living
- COVID FAQs for First-Year Students: Curious about Orientation and Frosh? Not sure how to get involved in campus activities from a distance? CL&E has all the tips you need!
- SHHS COVID-19 FAQs: Student Housing and Hospitality Services' complete list of FAQs, including detailed quarantine information.
- COVID-19 Arrival Resources: A compilation of tips, resources, and considerations when arriving in Montreal to study. Prepared by the organization Accueil Plus.
- Travel Restrictions: The latest travel restriction information for students, on the International Student Services website.