Temporary foreign agricultural, food, and seafood workers must quarantine

All temporary foreign workers (TFWs) who are not fully vaccinated in the agricultural, food, and seafood sectors arriving in B.C. in order to work in B.C. are required to quarantine in provincially-managed accommodations for 14 days.

Note: Employer-provided housing sites where unvaccinated or partially vaccinated TFWs in the agricultural, food and seafood sectors will be residing must first pass inspection before those workers can be released from quarantine.

All TFWs who are fully vaccinated in the agricultural, food, and seafood sectors arriving in B.C. in order to work in B.C. AND who receive a Day 1 test at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) upon arrival are required to quarantine in provincially-managed accommodations until they receive a negative test result.

All TFWs who are fully vaccinated in the agriculture, food and seafood sectors arriving in B.C. in order to work in B.C. AND do not receive a Day 1 test at YVR may proceed to their workplace or employer-provided housing.

Last updated: January 11, 2022



Temporary Foreign Worker quarantine

A 14-day quarantine period in provincially-managed accommodations is required for:

  • All foreign nationals arriving to B.C. to work in B.C. on a temporary basis,
  • Who are not fully vaccinated, and
  • Who work on sites that produce commodities on the National Commodities List or are classified under the following National Occupation Codes (NOCs)

A 2-4 day quarantine period in provincially-managed accommodations is required for:

  • All foreign nationals arriving to B.C. to work in B.C. on a temporary basis,
  • Who are fully vaccinated,
  • Who receive a Day 1 test at YVR, and
  • Who work on sites that produce commodities on the National Commodities List or are classified under the following National Occupation Codes (NOCs)
  • NOC 9617 – Food processing labourers
  • NOC 9461 – Process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated products processing
  • NOC 9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
  • NOC 6331 – Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale
  • NOC 9463 – Fish and seafood plant workers
  • NOC 9465 – Testers and graders, food, beverage and associated products processing
  • NOC 9618 – Labourers in fish and seafood processing
  • NOC 9213 – Supervisors, food, beverage and associated products processing
  • NOC 8252 – Farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • NOC 8255 – Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance, and horticulture services
  • NOC 8431 – General farm workers
  • NOC 8432 – Nursery and Greenhouse workers
  • NOC 8611 – Harvesting labourers
  • NOC 0821 – Managers in agriculture
  • NOC 0822 – Managers in horticulture
  • NOC 0823 – Managers in aquaculture
  • NOC 8613 – Aquaculture and marine harvest labourers
  • NOC 8261 – Fishing masters and officers
  • NOC 8262 – Fishermen/women
  • NOC 8441 – Fishing vessel deckhands
  • NOC 2222 – Agricultural and fish products inspectors
  • NOC 2225 – Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists
  • NOC 2123 – Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists

 

Eligible TFWs may have been brought in under any of the Temporary Foreign Worker program streams (Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program, Agriculture, High Wage, or Low Wage) and the duration of their work permit may be for months or years.  Vaccination status is determined by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the first point of entry. 


Screening process on arrival

Air travellers whose final destination is Canada must submit their information through the ArriveCAN app before they board their flight. This includes:

Travellers are required to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada.

Agriculture, food and seafood TFWs arriving to B.C. may be selected for Day 1 testing at YVR.  If selected, workers will be registered at the airport for this test and are not required or encouraged to pre-register using the FlyClear app.

If agriculture, food, and seafood TFWs are observed to have COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival, depending on the severity of their condition, they may be placed in quarantine by the Public Health Agency of Canada at the point of entry or be sent to the hospital.

Quarantine successfully

Financial support during quarantine

The Province will fund hotel, food service and worker support costs during the quarantine period.

  • Accommodations will be in the Lower Mainland near YVR and will not be at employer-provided housing.
  • Access to socio-economic and cultural supports will be provided for workers while they quarantine.

Employers are responsible for paying TFWs their wages for a minimum 30 hours per week during quarantine. Employers are also responsible for providing or arranging transportation from YVR to the government-managed accommodations, and from the hotel to the worksite or employer-provided housing after quarantine is completed.

Monitoring symptoms during and after quarantine

TFWs will need to monitor their conditions during quarantine.

  • If symptoms like a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath or fever develop, workers should contact the front desk and say "Nurse". They will then be tended to by the on-site medical team
  • After workers who are not fully vaccinated complete their quarantine period and the worker’s employer-provided housing has passed inspection, workers may then be transported to their employer-provided housing or workplace and begin working
    • If a worker develops symptoms during their term of employment, the employer must immediately self-isolate that worker and any of their close contacts, notify their local health authority, and ensure the coordination of appropriate testing, medical care and essential needs
    • The employer may receive reimbursement for costs incurred to support TFWs during their self-isolation period

TFWs are expected to comply with the Provincial Health Officer's orders and recommendations.

Ensure a safe workplace

All agricultural, food, and seafood workplaces in B.C., including those that employ TFWs, must follow the Ministry of Health's requirements to protect themselves and their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please see the guidance for agricultural, food, and seafood employers below, provided in English, Punjabi and Spanish:

If agricultural, food, and seafood employers of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated TFWs do not comply with these requirements, the arrival of those TFWs to a worksite will be delayed, denied and/or prohibited.

Process to receive temporary foreign agricultural, food and seafood workers

All farm operators that employ TFWs must apply for authorization from the Province to receive TFWs. Regardless of the vaccination status of arriving TFWs, all farm operators must:

Farm operators who have unvaccinated or partially vaccinated TFWs arriving must also:

  • Provide proof of an infection prevention and control plan by submitting the below form
  • Receive a housing site inspection

To provide proof of protocol, submit the Screening Form. 

Submit Screening Form online  

The form does not work on Internet Explorer.


Receive a housing site inspection

Provincial inspection officers will schedule employer-provided housing inspections once an employer’s unvaccinated or partially vaccinated TFWs have arrived in the quarantine program.

If an employer is already housing unvaccinated or partially vaccinated TFWs on-site and hasn't received an inspection, they need to reach out to the inspections team as soon as possible.

  • Before providing accommodation to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated TFWs who arrive by way of provincially-managed quarantine
  • Changes have been made to previously inspected sites, including but not limited to the addition of beds, bedrooms, or housing units
  • There are plans to house more occupants on a site than it was inspected and approved for previously
  • There is a change in farm ownership
  • It is a new calendar year
  • An employer is currently housing unvaccinated or partially vaccinated TFWs in employer-provided housing that has not yet been inspected

 

Employers must identify all sites where unvaccinated or partially vaccinated TFWs will be housed.

Employers who fail to properly identify each employer-provided housing site during inspection will be responsible for the hotel accommodation and food costs for each additional day workers must be held back at the hotel, until all sites pass inspection.

Submitting the online form is a required part of the inspection process as it outlines obligations of the employer and provides inspectors with necessary contact information.

Employers who wish to contact their inspector can do so by emailing AGRI.TFWProgram@gov.bc.ca.


Federal government resources

The federal government has shared information to ensure employers, workers and stakeholders comply with public health requirements related to COVID-19.

  • Read a joint letter outlining expectations of employers seeking to bring in TFWs to Canada
  • Review travel requirements for TFWs and international students
  • Learn about using ArriveCAN to enter Canada