Canadian Universities Return to In-Person Learning in September

Source: Study International

As COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to Canadians across the country, a sense of normalcy is beginning to return. Universities, colleges, and other designated learning institutions now have the confidence to plan for Fall and Winter semesters that involve students on campus.

Institutions in different provinces must follow their own public safety guidelines before welcoming students back to classes at pre-pandemic levels. As a result of this, the re-opening of campuses is happening faster in some parts of Canada and more gradually in others.

While McGill University and the University of British Columbia expect the upcoming Fall semester to feature in-person classes, hybrid classroom models are being proposed elsewhere. Both the University of Windsor and the University of Ottawa will use online and regular classes when they welcome students again.

We encourage you to read the original article to see what more institutions intend to do later this year. If there are specific universities or colleges you are interested in, be sure to visit their websites for the most accurate information.

Canada Requires Negative COVID Tests From Incoming Travellers

Source: Transport Canada

The Canadian government has stated that as of January 7, 2021, all travellers entering Canada over the age of five must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight. This rule applies to anyone planning on entering the country, from international students to Canadian citizens.

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. We need to continue to be vigilant, and we need to continue to take action to reduce the risks of spreading the virus by air travel. This new interim order will help protect Canadians and air travellers.”

Results have to be from either a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) test. The test also has to have been conducted no more than 72 hours before the flight. Upon entering Canada all entrants will still have to enter the required two-week quarantine, as outlined in the Canadian Quarantine Act.

According to Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, “These new measures do not replace any of the previous measures we have put in place to protect Canadians. All travellers must still quarantine for 14 days after they arrive unless explicitly exempt… If anyone doesn’t follow the quarantine requirements, they could face severe penalties.”

With international travel to Canada contributing to the rise of coronavirus cases and new, more contagious strains of the virus being discovered, it is hoped that these measures can help plank the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

COVID-19 Guide for International Students Arriving in Canada

The federal government has released a guide for international students who are coming to Canada, and navigating travel restrictions. It’s called “COVID-19: Guide for International Students in Canada Arriving from Abroad.” The government outlines the roles and responsibilities of designated learning institutions (DLIs), provinces and territories and the government of Canada in supporting international students. The guide is aligned with health advice from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Any international student or their accompanying family members with symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board their flight. If symptoms show up upon arrival in Canada, a health Canada officer will perform a screening and the person may not be allowed to enter, or transported to a hospital for a medical examination. International students are allowed to come to Canada to go to school at an institution that has a coronavirus readiness plan. The list of approved institutions are kept up-to-date on the Government of Canada website.

International students need a study permit or study permit approval, but this is not a travel authorization in and of itself. IRCC will communicate with students once the travel authorization has been granted. This authorization may be cancelled if there are any changes in circumstances at their school, or the province or territory.

In order to be given access to come to Canada, international students need to show border services officer that they are entering Canada for non-discretionary purposes, and that they are studying at one of the approved DLIs, among other requirements. International students may be refused entry if they do not meet these requirements.

Immediate family members may be allowed to accompany international students. This would include students’ spouses, dependent children, or their legal parent or guardian if they are a minor. Family members must also show border officers that they are travelling for a non-optional, non-discretionary reason, such as helping the student get established in Canada.

International students and their accompanying family members must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. They need to wear a mask or face covering during travel, including to their place of quarantine. Before coming to Canada students need to make a quarantine plan. Border officers will also consider this plan, when determining if the student can enter the country. While in quarantine, students should ensure that they have individual accommodations, and that they monitor themselves for symptoms. They should avoid public and shared spaces. They also need to arrange to have access to basic necessities like food and medicine. In addition to physical distancing, they need to avoid contact with people who are at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults, and people with underlying medical conditions, or who are immunocompromised.

Places with shared living accommodations, such as hostels, are not acceptable for quarantine or isolation. International students living with other people, such as with a host family or homestay provider, will need to self-isolate from other members in the accommodation or home. This means having a separate bedroom and washroom if possible. It also means physical distancing from other household members and frequently disinfecting surfaces.

Minors must also undergo mandatory quarantine. Parents or guardians must ensure that appropriate arrangements have been made for their child before they leave for their home country. Also, international students are asked to confirm their eligibility for heath-care coverage and Canada. If they are not covered, they can get private insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage before departure.