COVID-19 UPDATES April 1, 2020

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When you arrive in Canada, your health will be assessed when you speak to the border services officer. You must isolate for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory for all travellers, and there are significant penalties for anyone who does not follow this order. You must have a plan for how you will self-isolate for 14 days when you get to Canada and how you will obtain medical care if you become sick. While in self-isolation, you will be unable to leave where you are staying for any purpose. If you do not have a plan for self-isolation, including how you will buy groceries and access other essential services, please delay your travel until you have made one.

The Government of Canada continues to work closely with partners in Canada and around the world to respond to the current outbreak of COVID-19.  Employers and employees need to be aware of public health measures in place to limit the spread of the virus in Canada. You need to know what to expect upon arrival in Canada.

From IRCC

When you arrive in Canada, your health will be assessed when you speak to the border services officer. You must isolate for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory for all travellers, and there are significant penalties for anyone who does not follow this order. 

Work Permit Holders

For work permit holders and those with work permit approval letters, IRCC is recommending that your employee(s) carry with them confirmation from the Canadian employer that the job in Canada is still available. Also, it is recommended that they include a self-isolation plan and to have the same with them at all times when crossing into Canada.  These are prudent measures and should be taken effective immediately until you advised that they are no longer required.  Anyone who has any questions or concerns about this, please contact our office to discuss the same.   

I believe that IRCC will be the Agency that decides this issue of “essential services” as and when required, not the CBSA.  I do not anticipate at this time that the CBSA will apply any additional test(s).  However, please let me know if your employee(s) experience otherwise at the POE’s.  IRCC has time and time again declared that all foreign workers are being permitted to enter Canada provided they meet the established criteria. Again, this is a fluid situation and so expect there to be, at times, confusion and uncertainty at the POE and so I ask you and your employee(s) to exercise patience and understanding at all times when dealing with the CBSA.   

If a work permit and/or study permit is expiring due to a passport expiry which cannot be extended currently (due to suspension of services at consulates/embassies), we expect a special public policy bulletin by IRCC in the days to come.  I will keep you posted.   

International Students

For Students, before travelling to Canada, students should check with their designated learning institution to make sure their course or study program is still operating. This is particularly important if they have received a letter of introduction from IRCC but have not started studying yet.

IRCC is advising all of those who are travelling to Canada to ensure to do the following before and during your trip,

  • avoid spending time in large crowds or crowded areas
  • avoid contact with sick people, especially if they have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
  • be aware of the local situation and follow local public health advice
  • be sure to monitor your health, and if you become sick before or during your trip, avoid contact with others except to see a health care professional

From IRCC

SELF ISOLATION PLAN.   You must have a plan for how you will self-isolate for 14 days when you get to Canada and how you will obtain medical care if you become sick. While in self-isolation, you will be unable to leave where you are staying for any purpose. If you do not have a plan for self-isolation, including how you will buy groceries and access other essential services, please delay your travel until you have made one.

You will need to pass a health check before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to travel to Canada.Do not travel to Canada if you feel sick. If you are sick, delay your travel plans until you are feeling well.

IRCC Canada

When you get to Canada

  • If you develop symptoms during your flight to Canada, tell a border services officer when you arrive in Canada. This is required under the Quarantine Act (a Canadian law). If you don’t, you could be charged with a crime.
  • If you do not have symptoms but believe you were exposed to someone who was sick with COVID-19, under the Quarantine Act, you must report this to a border services officer when you get to Canada. The border services officer will give you instructions to follow.  
  • If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days,
    • continue to isolate yourself from others
    • call the public health authority in the province or territory you are in to tell them about your symptoms and travel history
      • They will give advice on what you should do.

IRCC is advising that while you are present in Canada,

  • Keep monitoring your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing. If you get sick, avoid contact with others and contact your local public health authority.
  • For students, if the self-isolation requirements are still in effect for the beginning of your learning program, you may have courses online. This will not affect your in-class requirements for applying for a post-graduation work permit in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns about your existing employee(s) on work permits being able to enter Canada, or for those foreign workers who will need to apply for work permits, please contact our office to discuss these issues with you.   Also, if you need assistance with the preparation of a self-isolation plan for your employee(s), we will be happy to assist with the preparation of these materials.  

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