The Canadian government has just announced a new travel restriction exemption for international students that are just arriving Canada amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a notice titled “COVID-19: guide for international students in Canada arriving from abroad.” Which was released on the official government website, the federal government clearly outlined the various roles to be played by the government of Canada, territories and provinces as well as Designated Learning Institution (DLIs) in ensuring that international students are properly supported.
The Public Health Agency of Canada also contributed to the notice by rendering the necessary health and safety advice for the return of the international students.
One of the key highlights of the notice will be that all international students as well as their family members who show both mild and serious symptoms of coronavirus will not be allowed to board any flight coming to Canada. If the symptoms however show up upon entry into Canada, the student will have to be properly examined by a medical expert and may not be allowed to enter Canada yet or the student will be transported to a hospital for proper medical check-up.
Canada has a regularly updated and approved list of schools that have exhibited a high level of readiness for coronavirus. International students will only be allowed to start up their studies in any of these schools.
International students would need to be granted travel authorization which is different from a study permit or study permit approval. The students would be communicated once there is a cancellation in the travel authorization as a result of any change in circumstances at the school or territory or province.
International students may be turned back by the Border Services Officer if they fail to show that they are entering Canada for the purposes of studying in any of the approved DLIs in Canada.
An immediate family member of the student may be allowed to accompany the student into Canada provided that such a person is the husband or wife of the student, child or parents/guardian where the student is a minor. The family member must be able to show the student that they are not coming into Canada for leisure purposes rather they are moving in to help the student get established in Canada.
The Canadian government has also made quarantine plans for both international students as well as their family members arriving Canada. This is a compulsory 14 days quarantine that requires the students as well as their family members to wear a face mask during their travel and also to the place of quarantine.
Students are advised to make a plan for the quarantine period which would also be inspected by the Border officers. The students must ensure that they stay in an individual apartment during the quarantine period. They should also avoid contact with every other person especially those that are at higher risk of being adversely affected by the coronavirus such as the elderly, those with underlining health challenges and others who have a compromised immune system. The students should also make plans for home food delivery services during the quarantine period.
Where the student is living in a family house with other members of the household or living with housemates, the student should always self – isolate in a separate room or space. The student should regularly disinfect the area at all times during this period.
The Canadian government has placed a fine of $750,000 CAD as well as six months jail time for failure to abide by the quarantine regulation. Where any person causes the death of another due to the failure to abide by the quarantine regulations, the person would liable to a fine of $1 million as well as a three years jail term.