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COVID-19: Advice for returning travellers

As we all do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Canadians returning home from abroad will need to make some temporary adjustments to their regular routines.

Returning international travellers without symptoms of COVID-19 are required to quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days. Travellers with symptoms of COVID-19 must isolate for 14 days. This is to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Quarantine Act.

As of April 20, travellers returning to Canada by air are required to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel. The covering must be worn in situations where keeping two metres distance from other people isn’t possible, such as at passenger screening checkpoints. 

Find out more about non-medical masks and face coverings on the Government of Canada's coronavirus page

These resources will help you prepare for an effective and responsible quarantine or isolation.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Coughing, fever and difficulty breathing are three main symptoms listed by Health Canada.

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use the Government of Ontario’s self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care.

For more information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, visit the Government of Canada page on COVID-19.

Quarantine (self-isolation)

For travellers returning to Canada who do not have symptoms:

  • You must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days as you are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.
  • You must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while traveling to the place you will quarantine.
  • You must go directly to your place of quarantine, without stopping anywhere, and stay there for 14 days
    • do not go to school, work or other public areas and community settings
  • You must quarantine in a place where you will have no contact with vulnerable people, such as:
    • people 65 years or older, or
    • people with underlying medical conditions
  • You will need to confirm you have a suitable place to quarantine where you will have access to basic necessities, such as food and medication.

If you do not have an adequate place to quarantine, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada will designate a facility where you must remain for 14 days.

A full list of requirements is available from the Government of Canada’s travel advisory page.


For passengers who do have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • You must isolate for 14 days
  • You must go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle
  • You must stay INSIDE your home
    • do not leave your place of isolation unless it is to seek medical attention
    • do not use public transportation such as buses and taxis
  • You must stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible
  • Do not have visitors and limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children
  • Do not isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable people, such as older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions
  • If your symptoms get worse, immediately contact your health care provider or public health authority and follow their instructions

If you do not have an adequate place to quarantine, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada will designate a facility where you must remain for 14 days.

A full list of requirements is available from the Government of Canada’s travel advisory page.

Preparing supplies of groceries, prescriptions and household goods

For travellers returning from international locations, you will not be able to go shopping yourself. Here are some other options that you can rely on:

  • Grocery delivery services: There are a variety of private companies that can be found on Google that offer this service. There may also be local alternatives that allow you to support small businesses in your community.
  • Pre-prepared meal service: Use Google to find local options near you that meet your dietary requirements.
  • Friends and family who can shop for you: Reach out to ask for help in your personal network.

Whether or not you are showing symptoms, you will need supplies at home to last for a minimum of 14 days. This will allow you to successfully complete your period of self-isolation and not risk further exposure in public spaces. Here’s a starter list of products for your household:

  • dried food (pasta, rice, etc.)
  • canned goods (soups, sauces, vegetables and fruit)
  • pet food and pet supplies
  • feminine hygiene products
  • thermometer
  • diapers
  • cleaning products (soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, paper towel, garbage bags, dish soap, etc.)
  • toilet paper, facial tissue and paper towel

Remember to buy goods and materials gradually, allowing your friends and neighbours equal access. Avoiding large-scale purchases and working together allows everyone to stay safe and healthy during this time.

Use the Government of Canada’s page on how to responsibly prepare supplies for a safe, successful period of isolation.

Travel insurance

You may be able to recoup money that you lost to cancelled reservations or emergency bookings. Contact your bank or travel insurance provider to talk with a representative about what coverage you may have.

Check the Government of Canada’s website for the latest information on COVID-19 travel advisories and travel insurance.

Income affected by COVID-19 limitations

On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.

See if you can access support through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical health. A pandemic is a very stressful event for individuals and communities. It’s normal to feel some stress and anxiety. It’s also very common for people to display great resiliency during times of crisis.

For more information about how you can care for the mental health of yourself and those around you, check out this resource page from the Canadian Mental Health Association on COVID-19 and mental health.

Learn about supports available to you, and how to get help when you need it.

Canadian Mental Health Association:
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada.

Ontario Government:
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care works to help people stay healthy by delivering high-quality care when they need it, while protecting and improving the health system for future generations.

ConnexOntario provides free and confidential health services information for people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs, mental illness and/or gambling.

Kids Help Phone:
Kids Help Phone is a Canadian charitable organization that provides 24/7 free confidential professional online and telephone counselling and volunteer-led, text-based support in English and French to youth across Canada.

Get medical advice over the phone

Telehealth Ontario gives you access to fast, free medical advice at their toll-free number: 1-866-797-0000. In a medical emergency don’t call Telehealth; call 911 immediately.

Physical distancing and staying connected

During your 14-day self-isolation, use it as a chance to get in touch using technology. There are many different options for keeping in touch and reconnecting with your network, many of them free.

Travel updates

For the latest updates from the Government of Canada on travel restrictions, go to

Elder care

As you enter your 14-day period of self-isolation, you may be concerned about loved ones in your life who are elderly. Older people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, which may result in increased stress during a crisis.

Because you may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your travels, one of the best things you can do to protect at-risk loved ones is complete your self-isolation before making physical contact.

Reach out to your personal network, strengthen connections and ask for help where possible if you think someone needs extra assistance. Numerous grocery stores and pharmacies are now opening early specifically for elderly and at-risk shoppers so that they can safely shop without risking greater exposure. Check for options in your community, starting with these helpful articles from and the National Post.

Still have questions?

We’re here to help and have introduced contactless ways to reach our Passenger Customer Service Representatives including in-terminal video chat and Online Live Chat. More info: