Are you a student who was all set to travel to Canada for your higher studies or had got the Canadian visa with a work permit just before the new wave of the pandemic hit the world? Are you taking the express entry visa route? Has the newest Covid 19 variant, Omicron, put a spanner in the works? Anxious about the latest developments? Don’t worry, continue reading to find out the latest Covid-19 related news regarding students travelling to Canada.
Scenario in Canada
Canada imposed a travel ban on India at the peak of the Delta variant spread in India in April. After five months, when India had the virus under control, Canada lifted the ban. Unlike the UK’s traffic light system of placing different countries at risk under different ‘colour zones,’ Canada has no system and didn’t offer any explanation as to why the travel ban was lifted. In a press release, the Canadian government said, “As of September 27, 2021, direct flights from India to Canada will resume.” Due to the lack of any obvious system or criterion, Canada’s next move with Omicron is difficult to predict. However, here’s what you need to know.
– As soon as you enter Canada, there will be Covid 19 test providers available, depending on from which location you enter. The test is free of cost, and to save time and avoid the hassle, you can book a test in advance. The Canadian government has made it clear that all fully vaccinated travellers would have to undergo a COVID test upon entering Canada from the airport. This applies to travellers from all countries except the United States. Until the test reports arrive, the travellers have to quarantine themselves.
– If you are fully vaccinated, check the list to see whether your vaccine is approved by the Canadian government. If not, you will have to get revaccinated. From November 30, 2021, Canada recognizes people as fully vaccinated if they have received a COVID vaccine which is approved by WHO (World Health Organization).
– Unvaccinated travellers will continue to be tested thrice: on the day of their arrival, on day-8, and on day-14. People arriving by air have to quarantine themselves at a designated facility while the reports are being awaited. People from the following countries are not permitted to enter Canada presently. Check the list to ensure that your country isn’t there.
- South Africa
– The Canadian government will adjust border measures as and when required, depending on their assessment of the evolving situation, monitoring case data, etc. The government is working in collaboration with all its counterparts to keep the situation under control. On the one hand, the Canadian government is ensuring constant monitoring of the impact of several variants. On the other hand, vaccination is given high priority to reduce the spread of the virus as much as possible.
If you have to travel domestically to reach your destination, ensure that you are fully vaccinated. Only fully vaccinated people are permitted to travel on trains and domestic flights.
Quarantine Plan in Canada
Suppose you are a student travelling to Canada with a visa Canada work permit; you will have to confirm that you have a suitable place to quarantine where you:
- Can stay for 14 days or longer
- Have access to the basic necessities, including food, water, heat, and medication, without breaking quarantine rules
- Can avoid contact with anyone who didn’t travel with you
- Have no visitors
Monitoring Your Health
On arrival in Canada, you must use the ArriveCAN portal to do the following:
- Confirm your arrival at the address that you provided for quarantine.
- Complete the daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment till you complete your quarantine period or till you report symptoms.
- Do not lie about any details, as the Government officials will call you to check whether the details you’ve provided are accurate and whether you are abiding by the quarantine and isolation rules. You must answer calls and answer all the questions truthfully.
- Furthermore, a screening officer may also visit you to confirm that you are following all the quarantine rules properly.
If you suddenly fall sick or experience any COVID 19 symptoms, call 8-1-1, and you will be redirected to a nurse who will advise you on the subsequent course of action. Don’t worry if English or French isn’t your strong suit. 8-1-1 provides translation services in 130 languages.
Your next step should be to contact your International Student Advisor. They can guide you with all the other formalities and help you out in the event of any emergency.
It’s undoubtedly a tough time with the emergence of a new Covid variant. You need to equip yourself with all the necessary information so that you can plan your travel and quarantine accordingly. Whether you’re a student or somebody with a visa Canada work permit, don’t panic; just be prepared.