First month of settlement during Covid-19 : what to expect ?

What are the requirements for the arrival to Canada?

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 
  • COVID-19 symptom self-assessments

You must use ArriveCAN before you board your flight to Canada. You can choose to use the ArriveCAN app or sign into ArriveCAN online. 

Once you submit your information through ArriveCAN:

  • a receipt will be displayed
  • be ready to show the receipt to a Canadian border services officer
  • you can show your receipt from the app as a screenshot or printout

As of January 7th, 2021, 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. The test must be performed within 72 hours prior to scheduled boarding. 

Arrival testing at the airport and mandatory hotel stopover for air travellers

You must take a Covid test before leaving the airport. At that time, you will get a COVID-19 At Home Specimen Collection Kit to use for your test on Day-8 of your mandatory quarantine.

Following the arrival test, you will need to go directly to your reserved hotel to await test results.

Air travellers are required to book a government-authorized hotel for three days prior to boarding. For sponsored refugees arriving in Canada, the cost will be covered by the government of Canada.

If you receive a negative result on your arrival test, you may check out of the hotel and go directly to your quarantine location to complete the remainder of your quarantine. You must have a suitable plan for your quarantine.

What is the mandatory quarantine ? 

After you leave your hotel, youmust continue your 14-days quarantine, provide contact information and monitor yourself for signs and symptoms as required by the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation).

You'll need to confirm you have a suitable place to quarantine where you:

  • stay for 14 days or possibly longer
  • have access to the necessities of life, including water, food, medication and heat without leaving quarantine
  • can avoid contact with others who did not travel with you
  • have no visits from family or guests

On Day-8 of your mandatory quarantine, follow the instructions to complete your test.

Can resettled refugees meet with their sponsors ? 

Resettled refugees cannot meet with their sponsors during the mandatory quarantine period. However, they can communicate through phone calls or video calls. Sponsors should ensure that the refugees have access to a computer/laptop or smartphone/tablet and an internet or data connection, so they can communicate with them.

Sponsors can arrange to drop off or deliver (with no contact) additional food, items or supplies during the quarantine period.

After the quarantine, sponsors and refugees should follow the federal and provincial safety measures and restrictions. Find out about the situation in Ontario.

Are settlement services available during Covid-19?

During the quarantine, sponsors and government-funded organizations will help the resettled refugees to get food, medicines and other necessary supplies. 

Many settlement agencies are currently offering services remotely, and not in person. This means you can reach them through your quarantine period and after by phone, email and sometimes virtual meetings. 

Settlement and social services can be found on this webpage or through a phone call to 211. 

For recently arrived refugees, sponsors are expected to, at minimum, provide basic orientation, making sure to include information on health, local essential services, nearest grocery stores, etc., and current COVID-19 guidance as well as assistance in completing applications for Ontario Health Insurance Plan, Social Insurance Number, and Canada Child Benefit (all of which can be done online or by phone). 

As a result of COVID-19, some refugees may have additional needs and require further support, such as private transportation to urgent medical appointments, masks, cleaning supplies etc. Sponsors should continue to assess and address any urgent needs during this period.

Sponsors are expected to provide refugees with the support as outlined in their Sponsorship Undertaking. The program requirements remain the same and sponsors are expected to continue providing financial and non-financial support. Sponsors and newcomers should not hesitate to call and reach settlement agencies as soon as possible to access services and support from them.

For more information, please read the Flying to Canada requirements checklist provided by the government of Canada. You can also read this webpage about mandatory quarantine.