Self-quarantine on return to B.C.
Unless you are exempt, all international travellers returning to B.C. are required by law to self-quarantine for 14 days and complete the federal ArriveCAN application prior to their return. Travellers arriving by air must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight.
Last updated: January 7, 2020
On this page:
- Comply with the federal Quarantine Act
- Complete the federal ArriveCAN application
- Arrival by air: Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test
- Process on arrival
- Post-entry requirements
- Optional: Complete a B.C. self-quarantine plan
- Inter-provincial travel
The federal government implemented a quarantine plan for returning international travellers on select flights under the Quarantine Act on March 25, 2020,
- The federal government will continue to use its authority under the Quarantine Act to ensure compliance with the order, enforceable by RCMP or local police
- Maximum penalties for breaking self-isolation orders include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months
Service BC will conduct compliance and wellness checks to ensure travellers can effectively maintain their 14-day self-isolation.
Travellers arriving in B.C. by air, land or sea from international locations including the United States must complete the federal ArriveCAN application.
Submit your ArriveCAN application online
Air travellers arriving in Canada, unless exempt, are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result to the airline prior to boarding.
The test must be conducted within 72 hours of scheduled boarding. There are short-term flexibilities for travellers departing from some countries in recognition of the need for testing systems to adjust.
Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Those exempt from this requirement include:
- Children who are not five years of age or older
- A crew member or a person who seeks to enter Canada only to become such a crew member
- Emergency service providers
- Technical stops. For example, flights refuelling
Federal screening measures are in place for all travellers arriving in Canada, including B.C.
When entering Canada, you'll be:
- Asked if you have a cough, fever or difficulty breathing
- Required to acknowledge that you must:
- Quarantine for 14 days if you don't have symptoms
- Isolate for 14 days if you have symptoms
- Quarantine for 14 days if you don't have symptoms
- Provide traveller contact information through the ArriveCAN application
Arrivals by air
Air travellers are required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before they board their flight. The information collected includes:
- Travel and contact information
- A quarantine plan (unless exempt)
- A COVID-19 symptom self-assessment
Travellers must be ready to show their ArriveCAN receipt when seeking entry into Canada. A border services officer will verify they have submitted their information digitally.
Travellers who do not submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to $1,000 fine.
Arrivals by land or water
Travellers entering Canada by land or water are strongly encouraged to download the ArriveCAN mobile app or submit online before they arrive at a border crossing to avoid additional delays for public health questioning and to limit points of contact at the border.
- Travellers can show their ArriveCAN receipt to a border services officer when seeking entry into Canada
The following people are exempt from the federal Quarantine Act. They do not have to complete the federal ArriveCAN application and are not required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Workers who are on the B.C. government's list of essential services but not on this list are still required to self-isolate.
- Air crew
- Transportation crew on any plane, train, bus or marine vessel
- A person invited by the federal Minister of Health to assist with the COVID-19 response
- A member of the Canadian Forces or a visiting force
- A person who provides an essential service:
- Persons making necessary medical deliveries
- Asymptomatic people in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people, including:
- Truck drivers
- Asymptomatic people who have to cross the border regularly to go to work, including:
- Health care sector
- Critical infrastructure workers
- Asymptomatic people who have to cross the border to provide or receive essential services, including:
- Emergency responders
- Personnel providing essential services to Canadians related to the COVID-19 outbreak
- A person whose presence in Canada is in the national interest (as defined by federal Ministers)
- A person permitted to work in Canada as a provider of emergency services
- A person providing medical care or transporting essential medical equipment, supplies, or means of treatment
- A person who enters Canada to receive essential medical services or treatments, other than services or treatments for COVID-19
Starting November 21, 2020 travellers will also be required to submit additional information during their quarantine or isolation period. To submit your information:
- Use the ArriveCAN app
- Call toll free 1-833-641-0343
Within 48 hours of entering Canada, travellers must confirm they have arrived at their place of quarantine or isolation and those in quarantine must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessment during their quarantine period.
Travellers who do not submit the mandatory information required will be considered a high priority for follow-up by law enforcement.
In addition to the federal ArriveCAN Application, travellers arriving in B.C. are encouraged to complete a self-quarantine plan. Completing the plan will help you prepare to self-quarantine successfully. It's important to consider:
- The location of your 14-day self-quarantine
- How you will travel to your quarantine location
- Arranging the necessary supports:
- Child care
- Cleaning supplies
- Pet care
- Social or family support
Submit your B.C. self-quarantine plan Note: The form does not work on Internet Explorer
How to self-quarantine successfully
The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has guidelines on how to self-quarantine.
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Unless you have COVID-19 symptoms or are within 14 days of returning to Canada, you do not need to self-quarantine when entering B.C. from another Canadian province or territory. You are expected to follow the same travel guidelines as everyone else in B.C. and travel safely and respectfully.