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-assessment

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. 

 

  • What is the mandatory quarantine ? 

After you arrive, you must quarantine for 14 days, 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).

How does it work ? 

  • You must report through the ArriveCAN app, online at Canada.ca/ArriveCAN or call 1-833-641-0343:
  • Your arrival at your place of quarantine within 48 hours after entering Canada
  • Your COVID-19 symptom self-assessment every day until the end of your quarantine

If you start experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, you must isolate yourself from others immediately and follow the COVID-19 instructions of the local public health authority.

  • Do not leave your place of quarantine unless it is for a medical emergency, an essential medical service or treatment, or it is pre-authorized.
  • Do not have any guests even if you are outside and stay 2m apart from them.
  • Use only private outdoor spaces (i.e. balcony).
  • Do not use shared spaces such as lobbies, courtyards, restaurants, gyms or pools.

You may be called from 1-888-336-7735 to verify your compliance during your 14-day quarantine. You will receive pre-recorded messages and email reminders.

The 14-day period starts again if, during your quarantine period, you develop a fever and cough or fever and difficulty breathing, test positive for COVID-19 or if you are exposed to another person subject to this Order who exhibits signs and symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19.

 

  • What is a suitable place of quarantine ? 

Sponsors or government-funded organizations provide a suitable place for the quarantine to resettled refugees arriving to Canada. 

A suitable place of quarantine is a place where you : 

  • Have access to the necessities of life without leaving your place of quarantine
  • Have a separate bedroom if the space is shared with family/friends who didn't travel with you
  • Can limit interactions with others in the household
  • Are not living with those at risk of more severe disease
  • Are not in close contact with others who did not travel with you

 

  • Can resettled refugees meet with their sponsors ? 

Sponsors or government-funded organizations can meet the refugees on arrival whilst maintaining physical distancing and get the refugees from the airport to the place of quarantine without unnecessary stops.

Sponsors that have welcomed refugees during the pandemic have used the following methods to transport the refugees directly from the airport to their place of quarantine: 

• Taxis where there is a glass or plastic shield between the driver and the passenger/s

• The use of large vehicles, such as SUVs, minivans or buses, that enable the driver and the passenger/s to maintain a minimum 2-meter distance.

Then, 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.