VIU International students

VIU Self-Isolation Information & Resources

As of March 25, 2020, the Canadian Government enacted the Quarantine Act which requires all  travellers to Canada to quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days after arriving in Canada. Below you will find helpful information on arranging quarantine (self-isolation) should you decide to come to Canada to continue – or begin – your studies at VIU. 

The following web page includes important information regarding Federal and Provincial legal requirements and VIU’s expectations regarding Quarantine (Self-isolation). The page will be updated with current immigration information, COVID-19 expectations, pre-arrival planning, travel requirements, accommodation options, and more. Please carefully read this guide so you are aware of the information/documents that you must submit to VIU and to Canadian Government agencies.

 

Cover of VIU's Quarantine (Self-Isolation) Resource Guide

Learn More About Quarantine

Before making arrangements to travel to Canada, review VIU's Quarantine (Self-Isolation) Resource Guide and Expectations.

Quarantine (Self-Isolation) Resource Guide and Expectations

New travel requirements have come in to effect since the recording of this webinar. Please visit the Requirements to Enter Canada section below for an overview of these changes and links to Government of Canada resources for specific information.

Quarantine (Self-Isolation) Options

The VIU Residences offers a self-isolation program to support VIU students who need to complete a 14-day quarantine (self-isolation) upon travelling to Canada. Priority is given to students who will be living in residence for the Fall 2021 semester.

The VIU Residence will provide students with:  

  • food for three meals per day - delivered to their residence room (student will get to choose items from a menu in advance),
  • unlimited wireless internet,
  • linens which include bedding and towels,
  • cleaning supplies with directions for bedroom and bathroom,
  • a comfortable room with good ventilation and fan, and  

  • access to 24-hour staff on site and through various online communication tools.  


For students who will not live at the VIU Residence, but would like to use the VIU Residence Self-Isolation Program, please plan to complete your quarantine no later than August 10, 2021. Starting August 11, spaces will be prioritized for students accepted to the VIU Residence. Extra spaces may be available for other students.

Learn more or register for the program.

International students who have applied and been accepted to the VIU Homestay Program may be able to quarantine with a VIU homestay host for their quarantine period, if the option is available.

Through the VIU Homestay Program, students in quarantine will have access to:

  • food for three meals per day prepared by their homestay hosts,
  • wireless internet,
  • linens which include bedding and towels,
  • cleaning supplies with directions for bedroom and bathroom,
  • a comfortable room with good ventilation, and  

  • access to 24-hour support from the VIU Homestay Program and through various online communication tools.  


To learn more, please visit the VIU Homestay Program's website.

Languages Canada has developed a convenient, all-inclusive, and worry-free Safe Arrival and Quarantine package for international students who decide to travel to Canada. 

1. Safe Arrival and Quarantine Package 

  • An all-inclusive stay at a designated quarantine hotel, including a full meal plan, for the period of time you need to quarantine,
  • COVID-safe transportation from airport to hotel,
  • A comprehensive 4-week health and wellness package, including health insurance coverage for COVID-19 during quarantine and mental health support,
  • A Canadian phone number and SIM card for mobile device,
  • All necessary documentation to ensure students are fully informed of travel and arrival requirements and have a smooth entry process into Canada. 

2. Optional Flight Package  

  • Discounted airfare reserved exclusively for students booking through Study Safe Corridor - TRAVEL SAFE;   
  • Booking services through a certified travel agent from the student's port of departure to the final destination in Canada; 
  • 24-7 travel support, available in multiple languages. 

Languages Canada has partnerships with hotels throughout Canada, including Vancouver, where students can complete their quarantine. Please refer to the Travel Safe Program for a full list of hotels. Options are available for students eligible to travel with family.

Learn more or register for the program.

If you are planning to make your own arrangements to self-isolation in a private reside or local hotel, please ensure you have reviewed the Government of Canada's guidelines on what constitutes a suitable place of quarantine.

After you have made the appropriate arrangements, complete an International Student Quarantine (Self-Isolation) Planning & Registration Form. Submit this document to VIU by email to ie.housing@viu.ca a minimum of 10 days before you are scheduled to travel.

Students can choose to complete their quarantine at local hotels who are available to provide quarantine (self-isolation) spaces for students below. Please note rates are subject to change. Please click on the name of the hotel to be guided to their website to confirm rates with the hotel.

 

Days Inn Nanaimo 

Rates are subject to applicable taxes totaling 16% and include a bagged breakfast daily and WiFi. Use of our indoor pool and hot tub will not be permitted while in quarantine. Room Service is available through our on-site Ricky’s All-Day Grill.  Trays will be dropped off in front of the guest room door for pick-up. 

 

Buccaneer Inn 

Seaview Cottage for families (3 people) 

Queen Kitchen Suite (1 person) 

$500 refundable damage deposit for all rooms 

 

All rooms are no-smoking, no pets, and no cooking of any seafood or other strong food items. As no housekeeping can be provided, we will provide linens and towels for guests to change themselves. 

 

Best Western Dorchester 

1 Queen bed 

1 King bed  

Inn on Long Lake 

2 Queen beds 

Includes a mini-fridge, microwave, balcony. "Grab and Go" breakfast box can be delivered for breakfast. Linen and towels exchanges would involve linens, garbage, etc. being left outside of their door and housekeeping would pick up and leave replacements. Housekeeping will not be entering the rooms until after their departure.  

Getting Settled and Getting Organized  

Arrange for the necessities of life (e.g., food, medications, basic hygiene supplies, and cleaning supplies) to be delivered to your place of self-isolation.  

  • Skip the Dishes   
  • Door Dash  
  • Instacart (Walmart, Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart) 
  • Thrifty Foods (Grocery Store)  
  • Save On Foods (Grocery Store)  

Eligibility Requirements

Requirements to Enter Canada

To be able to enter Canada to travel as a student you must meet 2 requirements:  

  • You must have a valid study permit or letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit. 
  • You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory. VIU is an institution with an approved readiness plan.  

To board a flight to Canada, you must also demonstrate to the airline that you are exempt from the travel restrictions by showing: 

  • you have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit;
  • you are attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory. VIU is a DLI with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan;
  • Submit your travel and quarantine plans to the Government of Canada using ArriveCan before boarding your flight;
  • Show a passport that is valid to fly to Canada and a valid entry document (visitor visa or eTA, if required);
  • Complete a health check with airline officials, to confirm you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing;
  • Depending on the airline, there may be additional requirements for travel, including wearing a face mask or covering. Confirm with the airline or any connecting airports prior to your flight; 
  • The Government of Canada requires international travellers to Canada to provide a negative COVID-19 test result that was taken within 72 hours of departure before departing their home country. Visit the Government of Canada's website for more information about COVID-19 testing required for people flying into Canada.

Travellers arriving in Canada must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine (self-isolation) after arrival under the Government of Canada's Quarantine Act. This requirement applies to all travellers, with exemptions for international students who meet specific conditions.  Review the Government of Canada's new travel requirements and how they may impact your travels.

Effective August 9, 2021

The government will no longer require international travellers – including international students – to quarantine at government-authorized accommodations while awaiting the results of their on-arrival COVID-19 test before travelling to their final destination.
 
International students who are not eligible for the quarantine exemptions for fully vaccinated travelers will still be required to complete a 14-day quarantine as outlined in designated learning institutions’ COVID-19 readiness plans. The government of Canada will also continue to require unvaccinated travellers to undergo Day 1 and Day 8 COVID-19 molecular tests.
 
Effective August 9th, the Government of Canada will also require airlines to ensure passengers have submitted their travel information through the ArriveCan app before boarding flights to Canada.

While you are in the process of making arrangements to travel and quarantine in Canada, the following Government of Canada resources can be helpful for understanding the steps required:

The onus is on you to demonstrate and satisfy the Boarder Services Officer that you meet the travel exemptions and are travelling to Canada for essential purposes. You may not be permitted to board an airplane if you

  • Show signs of COVID-19, have been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to medical reasons to COVID-19 or, are subject to a provincial or public health order. 

International students are required to stay up to date with Government of Canada requirements regarding travel and immigration requirements due to COVID-19. Students who are unsure if they are eligible to travel to Canada should contact the Canada Border Information Service in order to review your eligibility to travel to Canada.

Immediate family members (e.g. spouse/common-law partner, dependent children) may be able to come with you to Canada, provided that they have the proper immigration documents and their purposes for travel are non-discretionary. Generally, family members who are seeking to accompany and support you during your studies in Canada will be considered to travel for non-optional purposes. For more information on how your accompanying family member may travel to Canada, please visit IRCC's website.  

Depending on the country of citizenship, your family members may also require a valid temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. 

Non-essential travels to Canada (such as tourism, short-term visitors) are still not permitted, until travel restrictions are lifted. 

Vaccinated International Students

Fully vaccinated international students with a valid study permit are exempt from Canada’s quarantine requirement upon entry only if they meet certain conditions. We ask that you stay up to date with Federal Governments requirements and details on specific conditions.

Understanding the new rules

The new rules, which include quarantine exemption, apply only to those travellers who meet specific conditions. To be exempt from quarantine, students must:

  • Be eligible to enter Canada;
  • Have no COVID-19 symptoms (be asymptomatic);
  • Have received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or combination of accepted vaccines at least 14 days prior to entering Canada (see list of accepted vaccines);
  • Have proof of vaccination (in English or French, or a certified translation into English or French);
  • Take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours before arrival in Canada and obtain confirmation of a negative result;
  • Have a suitable back-up quarantine plan in place prior to departure in case border officials deny quarantine exemption upon arrival; and
  • Meet all other entry requirements including entering all necessary information into the ArriveCAN app prior to departure.

Please view this great infographic on Fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada during COVID-19

*please note there will likely be new updates or expectations as result of this change that will be communicated to you in the near future. Stay tuned!

Back-up Arrival Plan

In an effort to help students come prepared, Study Safe Corridor (SSC) operator The Student Travels can provide fully vaccinated students with a suitable back-up quarantine plan, at no cost, allowing them to enter a quarantine hotel address into the ArriveCAN app prior to departure. Student may activate their plan if they are denied quarantine exemption upon arrival.

To obtain a free back-up quarantine plan through the Study Safe Corridor, fully vaccinated students should:

Further information and instructions will then be provided.

Pre-Arrival Planning

The Public Health Agency of Canada
 draws a distinction between the need to quarantine (self-isolate) and isolate. We know terminology can be confusing, so we encourage you to review the following terms.

Quarantine (self-isolate): Quarantining is necessary for 14 days if you have no symptoms and any of the following apply: 
you are returning from travel outside of Canada (mandatory quarantine); you had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19; or you have been told by the public health authority that you may have been exposed and need to quarantine.

Isolate: You must isolate if any of the following apply: you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test
 for COVID-19; you have symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild; you have been in contact with
 a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID- 19; you have been told by public health that you may have been exposed to COVID-19; or you have returned from travel outside Canada with symptoms of COVID-19 (mandatory).


For more information about terms and definitions, please visit the Government of Canada's website.

When preparing to travel to Canada, you will need to make arrangements for a 14-day quarantine when you arrive in the country. Before making your plan, review the specific quarantine (self-isolation) requirements as outlined by the federal and provincial governments. When entering Canada, a government representative will review your quarantine (self-isolation) plan upon your arrival. It is your responsibility to demonstrate that your quarantine plan meets all of the requirements as outlined by governmental agencies.

Prior to departing your home country, you are required to submit your quarantine plan to the Government of Canada through the ArriveCAN app.

The Government of Canada requires international travellers to Canada to test negative for COVID-19 before departing their home country. Visit the Government of Canada's website for more information about COVID-19 testing required for people flying into Canada.

International travellers arriving to Canada by air are required to complete a COVID-19 test upon arrival and a 3-day stopover quarantine at government-approved hotel as part of their 14-day quarantine while waiting for their test result. The estimated cost is $2000 per person. To make a reservation for your 3-day stopover quarantine, visit the Government of Canada's website.

Travellers arriving in Canada with a negative COVID-19 test result must still complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine (self-isolation) after arrival under the Government of Canada's Quarantine Act.

After arriving, Government of Canada officials will call the student to monitor compliance of the mandatory quarantine. The student needs to be prepared to receive and answer calls from 1-855-906-5585 or 613-221-3100.

Students are reminded that that quarantine (self-isolation) is a requirement with the Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act, including the penalties of violation of the Quarantine Act, which include up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. 

For students intending to complete their 14-day quarantine (self-isolation) in Nanaimo, VIU recommends booking a connecting flight from your point of entry in Canada to Nanaimo. This will make it easier to arrange for transportation from your point of entry to your quarantine location. Travellers must demonstrate that they have pre-arranged safe transportation from their point of entry to their quarantine location. Public transportation, such as public transit and BC Ferries, do not meet this requirement.

Before purchasing travel arrangements, VIU encourages you to have as many pre-arrival arrangements secured as possible. For example, spaces in quarantine programs may be limited so you may need to consult with the provider that they have spaces available to accommodate your intended arrival date. You should also carefully review policies related to cancelling or altering any services you plan to purchase so that they meet your needs in the event that you need to adjust your plans.

Students who plan to live at the VIU Student Residences or with a VIU Homestay Program must consult with the respective program (Residences or Homestay Office) to confirm the availability of quarantine spaces and to submit a VIU Quarantine Request Form.

Download VIU Quarantine Request Form

If you arrange your quarantine with the Languages Canada Study Safe Corridor TRAVEL SAFE Program or you make private arrangements, you must register your quarantine with VIU. Complete and submit a VIU International Student Quarantine Planning and Registration Form at least 10 days prior to your expected travel date to Canada.

Register your plans

Use the VIU Co-Curricular App to submit your quarantine plan!

  1. Download the CCR app
  2. Navigate to "Pathways"
  3. Enroll in Traveling to Canada during COVID-19
  4. Enter your information and submit!

After submitting your quarantine plan, a staff member will review your submission and you will receive a confirmation email. Learn more about the co-curricular record and how you can utilize it during your time at VIU!

Students are responsible to ensure that they have the appropriate medical insurance while they are studying in Canada.

New international students at VIU are normally automatically enrolled in guard.me VIU International Health insurance when they begin their studies at VIUPlease ensure that you have not opted out of this coverage. Please visit here for more informationhttps://international.viu.ca/medical-academic  

Returning VIU students or students who previously opted out of health insurance coverage because they were studying in their home country should contact advising.international@viu.caif they have questions regarding coverage. 

If a student is arriving early for the next semester and does not have valid medial insurance, they should purchase ‘Early Arrivals’ insurance through guard.me directly.

 

Be prepared to present the necessary documents at the airport and the Canadian port of entry.  Upon arrival to Canada, you will be greeted by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Officer. Be prepared to present the following:

  • Valid passport or other travel document;
  • Valid entry document (VISA or eTA if required);
  • Valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit;
  • Valid letter of acceptance or confirmation of enrolment letter;
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada, and if you have to extend your self-isolation period due to COVID-19;
  • Your ArriveCan submission receipt;
  • A copy of your quarantine (self-isolation) plan;
  • negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of travelling to Canada;
  • Resumption of Guard.me (with medical policy number, start date, & end date);

VIU recommends travelling with any documentation that you believe necessary for entry into Canada.


Plan to arrive within a reasonable time allowing you to complete the mandatory COVID-19 travel and quarantine requirements, and start the first week of class. Please note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states, "If you arrive too early, you may be refused entry by SBCA."


Do I need a Letter of Acceptance or a Confirmation of Enrolment letter?

New students to VIU will travel with and present their valid Letter of Acceptance when entering Canada.

Continuing students will no longer have a valid letter of acceptance and will need to provide a confirmation of enrolment letter. Students requiring a confirmation of enrolment letter can request a letter by emailing study@viu.ca.

International Admissions will be closed between July 1 - July 4, 2021.  If you require any letters (to support your travels, apply for post grad work permit etc) we ask that you to plan ahead and submit your request no later than JUNE 29 or after JULY 5. Thanks for your understanding!

During Quarantine (Self-isolation)

The following expectations apply regardless of where you quarantine.

  • Stay in your room and away from others;
  • Keep your room well-ventilated and clean – open your window to let the air circulate;
  • Practice good hygiene:
    • Wash your hands frequently with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
    • Use a separate towel, kept away from others;
    • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when coughing or sneezing, or use a tissue;
    • Avoid coughing or sneezing into either your hands or into the air;
    • Dispose of used tissues right away into a trash bin and immediately wash your hands;
    • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands at all times.
    • Use a separate bathroom if possible. Clean the bathroom regularly with cleaning products Flush the toilet with the lid down. Keep your bathroom space clean and disinfected. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, dressers, and other surfaces at least once a day;
  • Stay connected – text, email, FaceTime with your friends and family;
  • Monitor your physical and mental well-being. If you are not feeling well with symptoms that resemble COVID-19, complete an online self-assessment. If you cannot use the online tool, call 8-1-1 (toll free) or 7-1-1 (deaf and hard of hearing), 24 hours a day/seven days a week. Students who have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 will be required to remain at their quarantine site until a medical practitioner has confirmed they are clear of these symptoms and/ or the student has tested negative for COVID-19
  • Package up your garbage – empty garbage frequently and wash your hands immediately;
  • Keep your personal items (toothbrush, cups, cell phone, tablets, laptops, etc.) separate from those belonging to others;
  • Do not allow visitors;
  • Do not self-isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable individuals, including those who have an underlying medical condition, compromised immune systems, or who are 65 years of age or older.
  • Do not go to school, work or any other public areas.
  • Monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19, follow the BCCDC Guidelines for How to Self-Monitor; and track your symptoms on the BCCDC’s Daily self-monitoring form
  • Eat in your room, where you are quarantining. Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or eating utensils.

For more information about quarantining (self-isolating), please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control and review the Dos and Don'ts of Self-Isolation.

Students are reminded that that quarantine (self-isolation) is a requirement with the Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act, including the penalties of violation of the Quarantine Act, which include up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. 

If you have been reported breaching quarantine or self-isolation guidelines it will be reported to VIU Staff, VIU Conduct Office and may be reported to Health BC or Border Services Canada for follow up and disciplinary action.

Additional Information for Quarantining at VIU Student Residences

  • Bathroom cleaning supplies are included in your package. Use them regularly, especially if you share a bathroom. Do not store personal items in the bathroom.
  • If you need help filling out the online self-assessment tool, or need immediate assistance email residence@viu.ca;
  • Empty garbage into the dumpster in the residence parking lot, while wearing your mask;
  • Students will be unable to use common laundry spaces to wash their clothes. Students should have clean clothing to last for 14 days;
  • Students are not allowed to use the common room, couches, dining room tables or TV;
  • Access to the common room/kitchen area is only permitted for heating of food and limited to one person in the kitchen/common room area at a time. Once you have heated your food you must return to your room immediately;
  • Residence staff will will deliver meals to your room; all containers are microwavable and disposable.

Students are reminded that that quarantine (self-isolation) is a requirement with the Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act, including the penalties of violation of the Quarantine Act, which include up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

If you have been reported breaching quarantine or self-isolation guidelines it will be reported to VIU Staff, VIU Conduct Office and may be reported to Health BC or Border Services Canada for follow up and disciplinary action.

Please note: Due to lack of private outdoor space at student residence, those who smoke should consider looking to make arrangements for their 14-day quarantine in locations with access to private balconies or yard.

Supports Available to You

VIU Residence  

Phone: 250-740-6640 (24 hours a day)  

Email: residence@viu.ca

Virtual Meeting: Email to set up a meeting

Mike Bauche, Assistant Manager, Residence Life Email: Michael.Bauche@viu.ca 

Bingyi Zhu, Assistant Manager, Operations Email: Bingyi.Zhu@viu.ca  

Victoria Bowns, Residence Life Coordinator Email: Victoria.Bowns@viu.ca  

 

Homestay & Off-Campus Housing Office  

Phone: 250-740-6159 (messages checked and returned throughout the workday)  

Cell: 250-618-2128 (call, text or WhatsApp during the workday)  

Email: homestay@viu.ca or ie.housing@viu.ca   

Virtual Meeting: Email to set up a meeting  

 

Campus Security  

Phone: 250-740-6660

 

Attend virtual events through the VIU website and listed on the VIU Residence Facebook Page.

Connect with a counsellor. Self-isolation can be a challenge on emotional well-being. They are here for confidential support. Book an online meeting by email.

Connect and Engage! Students can access information regarding campus events by downloading the VIU Co-CurricularInvolvement App. The App can be found at the App Store and Google Play. Alternatively, people can log on to the desktop version of this application, here. 

Drop-in with an International student advisor during scheduled drop-in times. 

Download the BC COVID-19 APP to stay informed about COVID-19 in BC.

International students on Guard.me insurance have access to Guard.me Mobile Doctor. This program allows your student to connect with Canadian doctors on Maple, a telemedicine company, as a part of their health benefits. Maple provides access to doctors, Canada wide, on the phone, tablet or computer anytime, anywhere. Your Guard.me insurance also includes access to keep.meSafe where you can access mental health and wellness services!

Quarantine (Self-Isolation) Planning Flow Chart

VIU quarantine planning step by step graphic