Here's What 'Designated Quarantine' Is Like For Travellers Under Canada's New Rules

Each travellers' health is assessed "daily" by an on-site nurse.

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Here's What 'Designated Quarantine' Is Like For Travellers Under Canada's New Rules

Following a recent update to Canada’s travel restrictions, an increasing number of incoming travellers are now required to isolate themselves at a “designated quarantine facility” after landing.

This includes individuals who have recently travelled to a number of countries overseas, as well as those who have the right to enter Canada but remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.

If you’re wondering who this latest change impacts and what it’s like for those who have to quarantine, here’s what you need to know.

What are the rules?

On November 30, in response to concerns about the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the federal government ramped up travel measures at Canada’s border.

Testing was expanded and entry bans were placed on foreign nationals who have recently been in any of the following t countries: Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Those with a right to enter Canada are exempt from the ban, even if they have been in one of those countries in the previous 14 days. If they’re fully vaccinated, these travellers are required to quarantine while they await their arrival COVID-19 test results at one of Canada’s designated facilities.

If it comes back negative, fully vaccinated individuals will be able to isolate at home until their day-eight test also returns negative.

Those with a right to enter Canada who are not fully vaccinated, even if they have not visited any of the countries listed above, must remain in a designated quarantine facility for 14 days in total.

What's it like?

A spokesperson from the Public Health Agency of Canada told Narcity that it does not disclose the names and locations of Canada’s designated quarantine facilities (DQF), in order to protect the privacy and safety of travellers.

They confirmed that all rooms at the DQF are “equipped with phones for out-bound calls, which travellers can use without restriction.” They added that individuals are “welcome to use” their own personal cell phones to connect with family or friends, too.

According to PHAC, every person staying at an official facility has access to “24-hour support and ongoing medical monitoring.” There’s also an onsite nurse who “completes daily health assessments with each traveller.”

Individuals are asked to “monitor their health” between official check-ins and assessments and additional medical attention is available if necessary.

The spokesperson adds that “transportation to the quarantine site, lodging, meals/incidentals, as well as security and cleaning personnel are standard services for all DQF and are contracted to organizations that offer the required expertise.”

In most cases, PHAC says travellers take their luggage with them to the DQF. However, there are some circumstances in which an individual may have to coordinate with their airline to get their stuff to the facility from a different destination.

“In this event, the traveller would work with the airline to have their luggage returned to them and PHAC would coordinate the delivery to their room,” the spokesperson explained.

How long do people stay there?

PHAC told Narcity that in most cases, on-arrival test results are issued to travellers within 24 to 48 hours.

“Those in the DQF who are required to continue to quarantine or isolate will speak with a PHAC officer to ensure they have a suitable place prior to being released,” the agency confirmed. “PHAC is working to boost its capacity to release travellers as close to their test result as possible.”

Unvaccinated people with a right to enter Canada must remain at the facilities until they have completed 14 days of quarantine

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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