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Frequent ask questions

What is self-isolation?
 Self-isolation means staying in the place you are isolating and avoiding situations where you could come in contact with others. You may have been exposed to the virus and are at risk for developing COVID-19 and passing it on to others. You should not self-isolate in a place where you will be in contact with vulnerable people, such as seniors and individuals with underlying health conditions. Adapted from the BC Centre form Disease Control website (BCCDC). 

Why do I need to self-isolate?
 As of March 25, 2020, it is mandatory under the Quarantine Act that anyone arriving in British Columbia from outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival whether or not they have symptoms.

 You must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days. It is mandatory.

The Contraventions Act has been changed to give police (including RCMP, provincial and local police) more power to enforce the Quarantine Act. They can now issue tickets to people who do not comply with the act. Fines range from $275 to $1000.

Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to:

  • 6 months in prison and/or
  • $750,000 in fines.

 Your plan can either be:

  • Completed and submitted online before or when you arrive in British Columbia.
  • Completed and submitted using a paper form when you arrive in British Columbia.

It is highly recommended you complete and submit the form online before you begin your travel to British Columbia. Please note, this electronic form is not compatible with the Internet Explorer browser.

What information must I include in my self-isolation plan for arriving to BC?
 Your self-isolation plan must consider:

  • The location of your 14-day self-isolation
  • How you will travel to your isolation location
  • Arranging the necessary supports:
    • Food
    • Medications
    • Cleaning supplies
  • Social or family support

How do I download the ArriveCan application?
 Travelers must submit a BC self-isolation plan and complete the federal ArriveCAN application for approval prior to their return to BC, or upon arrival. Download the ArriveCAN application:

What is the best way to travel to my self-isolation destination?
 If you are arriving from outside Canada and are deemed safe to fly, you may board a connecting flight to your destination. However, upon arrival at your final destination, you must go directly to the place where you will isolate, and remain there for 14 days. This is because you are still at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.

If you are not symptomatic (showing COVID-19 symptoms), you may use a taxi to travel from the Victoria International Airport to the location listed on your self-isolation plan. In the event you have signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you will not be allowed to use public transportation (e.g., buses, etc.) to travel to the place where you will isolate.

Due to self-isolation, I am unable to arrange a cell phone for the first 2 weeks. What should I do?

We recommend you bring a cell phone from home and try to log onto WiFi to make any calls. You can also purchase phone cards to make any local calls.

I will not be able to visit a bank while in self-isolation? What should I do?

We recommend you have enough money to pay for rent for the first month and a credit card that is accepted in Canada to make any payments for groceries/medications etc.

What does self-isolation look like?

While in self-isolation, you must:

  • Go directly to your place of self-isolation, without delay, and stay there for 14 days from the day you arrived in Canada, or longer if you develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to another person subject to the Order who has signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Ensure you wear an appropriate mask or facial covering, especially while in transit.
  • Practise physical distancing at all times.
  • Go to your place of self-isolation using private transportation, if possible.
  • 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.
  • Stay at your place of self-isolation, and do not leave unless it is to seek medical attention.
  • Not use public transportation (e.g. buses) while in self-isolation.
  • Not have visitors and limit contact with others in the place of self-isolation, including children and those who have not travelled nor been exposed to the virus.
  • Not go to school, work or any other public areas.
  • Arrange for the necessities of life (e.g. food, medications, cleaning supplies) to be delivered to your place of self-isolation.

For further information, please review the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website on how to self-isolate and check the following handouts:

What must I do if I develop COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days?

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, please

  • Isolate yourself from others
  • Immediately call 8-1-1 to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC and get advice about how you are feeling and what to do next or contact the public health authority and describe your symptoms and travel history. Follow their instructions carefully.

What does self-isolation look like?

While in self-isolation, you must:

  • Go directly to your place of self-isolation, without delay, and stay there for 14 days from the day you arrived in Canada, or longer if you develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to another person subject to the Order who has signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Ensure you wear an appropriate mask or facial covering, especially while in transit.
  • Practice physical distancing at all times.
  • Go to your place of self-isolation using private transportation, if possible.
  • 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.
  • Stay at your place of self-isolation, and do not leave unless it is to seek medical attention.
  • Not use public transportation (e.g. buses) while in self-isolation.
  • Not have visitors and limit contact with others in the place of self-isolation, including children and those who have not travelled nor been exposed to the virus.
  • Not go to school, work or any other public areas.
  • Arrange for the necessities of life (e.g. food, medications, cleaning supplies) to be delivered to your place of self-isolation.

For further information, please review the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website on how to self-isolate and check the following handouts: