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COVID-19 Update

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UPDATE:

Revision to definition of 'unaccompanied minor student'

As of March 22, 2021, while unaccompanied minor students remain exempt from the 3 night government-authorized accommodation (hotel quarantine), there has been a change to the definition of 'unaccompanied minor' student, regardless of province of point of entry or final destination, as follows:

  • a person who is less than 18 years of age and who will not be accompanied in the government-authorized accommodation by a person who is 18 years of age or older.

 

February 26, 2021

Exemption

We are pleased to share that 'unaccompanied minor students' have been exempted from the recently imposed (February 22, 2021) requirement for all travellers to Canada have to complete a mandatory 3 day quarantine in a government-authorized hotel while awaiting the result of the COVID test conducted upon arrival.  Instead, 'unaccompanied minor students' will be able to continue to travel on to their final destination where they can fulfill the 14 day quarantine requirement under the care and support of their Canadian host family.

 

Accompanying Parent  

As the exemption was put in place to ensure the protection of minors traveling without parents or chaperones, those who do travel with a parent are NOT exempt from the Government approved hotel quarantine requirements and will be considered “accompanied.” In such a case, everyone (minor students and accompanying parent) will be subject to the mandatory 3-day government approved hotel stay.

An immediate family member (1 parent) may still apply to accompany their child to Canada if they will be helping the minor child while attending a school from kindergarten to grade 12. However, other younger (non-school age) siblings will not be permitted as they would not meet the definition of an immediate member helping a minor child settle in Canada.

 

Testing

NOTE: All travellers including minor students still need to have a negative COVID-19 molecular PCR test within 72 hours of departing for Canada and to present this documentation to the airline at time of check-in.

Unaccompanied minors will either receive their first test upon arrival at the airport (at the discretion of the CBSA officer) and be provided a 2nd kit to take with them, or they will be provided with 2 test kits (at no cost) to be self-administered on Day 1 and Day 10.  The test sample will then be sent to the lab by prepaid courier with the assistance of the student's host family.

  • Instructions for the self-administered test will be available in multiple languages including English, French, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese, Hebrew, Russian and Arabic.
  • If individuals require additional support, there are paperwork, video tutorials and optional on-line virtual appointments to support self-testing through Switch Health.

Despite a negative COVID-19 test result pre-departure, at Day 1 or Day 10, all students still need to complete a full 14 day quarantine period.

From September 2020 to date, CAPS-I member schools have had the privilege of welcoming thousands of students into Canada and all of these young, international students have been well-supported and cared for throughout the quarantine period.

 

January 7, 2021

Effective midnight on January 7, 2021 (00:00 EST or 05:00 UCT), proof of a negative COVID-19 laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada.

Tests must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular test, such as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) test. The test must be taken within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada. Other types of tests, such as antigen tests, will not be accepted.

A negative laboratory test (paper or electronic proof of result) must be presented by the traveller to the airline or private operator prior to coming to Canada. Travellers must ensure that the negative laboratory test result includes the following data elements:

  • Traveller name and date of birth
  • Name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test
  • The date on which the test was conducted
  • The method of test conducted (e.g. PCR or LAMP)
  • The test result (such as “negative” or “not detected”)

Travellers are strongly encouraged to have their test performed at a reputable laboratory or testing facility (e.g., one recognized by the local government or accredited by a third party, such as a professional organization or international standards organization). Using a questionable or fraudulent document could result in the traveller being denied boarding, and subject to fines of up to $5,000 under the Aeronautics Act. This could also result in additional actions being levied against the traveller by a Public Health Quarantine officer upon arrival in Canada.

Information is available on Travel.gc.ca about reputable local COVID-19 testing facilities for certain destinations.

Further details at: https://tc.canada.ca/en/initiatives/covid-19-measures-updates-guidance-issued-transport-canada/covid-19-pre-departure-testing-transport-canada-interim-order

 

January 1, 2021

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, is requiring that, effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada. This implementation date provides all airlines, both foreign and domestic, adequate time to comply with the new requirements.

Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.

Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The Government of Canada will be further increasing surveillance efforts to ensure travellers entering Canada complete the applicable mandatory 14-day quarantine period under the Quarantine Act.

As has been the case for months, all travellers will have their quarantine plans reviewed by a government official and, if not suitable, will be required to quarantine in a federal quarantine facility. Travellers to Canada must use the ArriveCAN App or website and provide accurate contact information and their mandatory 14-day quarantine plan on or before entry.

https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid?utm_campaign=gac-amc-covid-20-21&utm_source=travel-gc-ca_covid-19-travel&utm_medium=redirect&utm_content=en

https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/12/pre-departure-covid-19-testing-and-negative-results-to-be-required-for-all-air-travellers-coming-to-canada.html

 

November 17, 2020

As of today, the K-12 sectors of all provinces except Newfoundland are noted on IRCC's website as 'approved to re-open to international students.'  However, public school authorities in the provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia have decided that they will not be enrolling international students during the 2020-2021 school year.

In addition, the K-12 Ministries of Education in the provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan are still reviewing/approving 'readiness plans' and have advised that the K-12 school boards/divisions/schools within their provinces can only welcome international students once their plans are approved.  Once approved, the school boards/divisions/schools will be listed on their respective Ministry lists (see below):

Ontario

Saskatchewan

The following revised federal arrival requirements come into effect on November 21st:

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/welcoming_international_students.html

 

November 4, 2020

Please read the information contained at the link below in full and very carefully as some new requirements will come into effect on Nov 21st related to arrival and after a student has entered Canada.

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/arrivecan.html

A couple of key excerpts are included below:

Requirements for travellers entering Canada by air:
 

As of November 21, 2020, if you're flying to Canada as your final destination, you must use ArriveCAN to submit your:

  • travel and contact information
  • quarantine plan (unless exempted under conditions set out in the mandatory isolation order)
  • COVID-19 symptom self-assessments

You must:

  • submit your information before you board your flight to Canada
  • be ready to show your ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada
    • a border services officer will verify that you have submitted your information digitally

Requirements for all travellers after they've entered Canada:

As of November 21, 2020, all travellers, whether they travel by air, land or sea, must provide information after their entry into Canada.

You must use ArriveCAN or call 1-833-641-0343 to:

  • confirm that you've arrived at the address you provided for your quarantine or isolation location within 48 hours of your entry into Canada
  • complete daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessments during your quarantine period

 

November 3, 2020

IRCC updated their list of DLIs to include the K-12 sectors of Alberta and Saskatchewan as they are now also 'approved to reopen to international students.'

Only Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland's K-12 sectors are not yet approved.
IRCC has advised that the list will next be updated on Tuesday, November 17th.

October 21, 2020

The IRCC website (see below) now provides a list of the Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) that have COVID-19 readiness plans approved by their respective provincial/territorial government. The search tool clearly distinguishes between K-12 and post-secondary sectors with the K-12 sector of each province either 'approved' or 'not approved' as a whole.
As of today, 5 provinces have approved their K-12 sector (BC, MB, QC, NB, PEI) to receive international students from outside of Canada and 5 have not yet approved their K-12 sector (AB, SK, ON, NS, NL) but are working diligently towards approval.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students/approved-dli.html

 

October 2, 2020

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2020/10/update-on-travel-restriction-exemptions-for-international-students.html

Earlier today, Friday, October 2nd, the Government of Canada announced that although border restrictions remain in place, processes are being introduced to support the entry of international students

"More specifically, these processes will provide for the entry of: 
  • international students, starting October 20, 2020, if they will be attending a designated learning institution that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID‑19 readiness plan in place"

The 'list' as to which educational institutions' readiness plans have been identified/approved by their respective provincial governments has not yet been made public (this may take a week or two and will be subject to updates.) CAPS-I will continue advocacy efforts in hopes of ensuring all members are on the list.

Very welcome, positive, encouraging news that I wanted to share, despite some details still unknown. We realize students who already have study permits approved may be anxious to book flights but I'd caution against that until there's more certainty and at least the initial list of institutions has been published.

Please be assured, that the health and wellness of international students currently enrolled in Canadian public schools continues to be a top priority for all of our members and that International Student Program staff remain available to provide the necessary support.

As the global COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, CAPS-I will continue to monitor the situation and provide the most up-to-date information available to support our members, partners, students and families around the globe.

Students travelling to Canada will all need to comply with the 14 day quarantine period upon arrival.   Regular checks to ensure compliance will be done and students must have a local phone number in order to be accessible to officials conducting such checks.  Students may wish to pre-arrange for Canadian phone service through a provider such as PhoneBox

 

For more information, consider the following resources:

Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html?utm_campaign=not-applicable&utm_medium=vanity-url&utm_source=canada-ca_coronavirus

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/service-delivery/coronavirus.html

Government of Canada – Travel Advisory: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories

Special Measures to Help Temporary & Permanent Residents & Applicants Affected by COVID-19 https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html

WHO’s Mental Health Considerations: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf?sfvrsn=6d3578af_2

 

Public Health Authorities
Provinces and Territories Telephone number Website
British Columbia 811 www.bccdc.ca/covid19
Alberta 811 www.myhealth.alberta.ca
Saskatchewan 811 www.saskhealthauthority.ca
Manitoba 1-888-315-9257 www.manitoba.ca/covid19
Ontario 1-866-797-0000 www.publichealthontario.ca
Quebec 1-877-644-4545 www.quebec.ca/coronavirus
New Brunswick 811 www.gnb.ca/publichealth
Nova Scotia 811 www.nshealth.ca/public-health
Prince Edward Island 811 www.princeedwardisland.ca/covid19
Newfoundland and Labrador 811 or 1-888-709-2929 www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19

For more information:

1-833-784-4397
canada.ca/coronavirus