In an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19 and emerging virus variants, the federal government has recently implemented quarantine hotels in Canada for incoming air travellers.
While exact details are yet to be finalized, it’s clear that Canada's hotel quarantine will look pretty different from other countries’ versions of it.
Ahead of the scheduled start date, here’s a look at how other regions, including Australia and New Zealand, implemented their respective hotel restrictions.
What does hotel quarantine look like in New Zealand?
In New Zealand, a similar hotel quarantine plan was announced on April 9, 2020.
All international travellers entering the country are required to stay at a government-approved facility for a minimum of two weeks.
During this time, they will take three COVID-19 tests and daily health and temperature checks.
If an individual tests positive, they are moved to another government-approved quarantine facility.
The majority of people staying are charged NZ$3,100 ($2,828) for the first adult in a room and NZ$950 ($867) for any additional adults.
Guests book their spot via an online allocation system, although they cannot choose the city or type of hotel they stay in. Passengers on the same flight are often taken to the same accommodation.
According to the National Post, the country’s quarantine facilities are all four or five-star hotels.
The military and the police are tasked with overseeing the facilities and guests face hefty fines and even jail time for non-compliance.
What about Australia?
The idea of quarantining in an approved hotel first came about in Australia back in March 2020.
It was the first country to implement the protocol, with all international travellers (except for those coming from New Zealand) required to quarantine in a state-approved facility for at least two weeks.
Like New Zealand, the facilities are generally four or five-star but cannot be specifically chosen by the individual travelling.
Anybody who tests positive for COVID-19 during their stay, or anybody who displays symptoms, is required to stay for as long as 24 days.
State governments are in charge of implementing quarantine rules and those found to be flouting them can face fines of up to $50,000 and jail time.
Is it similar in the U.K.?
Like Canada, the United Kingdom took a little longer to implement the hotel quarantine system.
It came into place on February 15, 2021, and applies to all international travellers entering the country from any of the 33 countries on the local government’s “red list.”
Most places on the list are located in South America and Africa, as well as the United Arab Emirates.
There are 16 hotel options across the country, which must be pre-booked by travellers before they arrive.
Guests must stay for a minimum of 10 days, during which they’ll take two COVID-19 tests. If any return positive, they’ll have to stay an additional 10 days.
It costs £1,750 ($3,100) for the 10-day quarantine, with payment plans on offer for those who are low-income earners.
The rules are enforced by the national government, with fines of up to £10,000 ($17,716) for non-compliance.
How does Canada compare?
Almost a full year after Australia implemented quarantine hotels, Canada followed suit.
Trudeau recently confirmed that the country’s system will kick-off on February 22, 2021, and is likely to apply to all non-essential passengers entering Canada by air.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Canada’s hotel quarantine plan and those of other countries is the length of quarantine required.
Travellers will need to stay just three days in the federally-approved facility, providing they don’t display any symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
After three days, they must continue their mandatory two-week quarantine at their destination.
Unlike other countries, travellers quarantining in Canada will also be able to choose the hotel they stay at. Exact prices are expected to vary depending on location, but the cost is expected to be around $2,000 per person.
A payment plan for low-income earners has not yet been announced.
All of the available facilities will be located within 10 kilometers of Canada’s four largest airports, as they are the only locations currently accepting international flights.
Unlike other places, it will be the hotel’s responsibility to keep an eye on travellers and report any non-compliance to the authorities.