Return to Campus

COVID-19

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Quarantine planning for International students travelling to Canada

Please note

Okanagan College strongly recommends that all international students planning to travel to Canada fully understand the Government of Canada and BC Government laws and regulations before making travel plans. Please note that Government of Canada and BC Government restrictions and regulations are subject to change. Please check the government websites for the most up-to-date information.

Quarantine and travel planning

Updated June 22, 2021

Starting July 5, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT, there will be some exemptions for people eligible to enter Canada, who also meet specific conditions for fully vaccinated travellers. For details visit the Government of Canada travel, quarantine and borders website.

  • All incoming students must have a suitable quarantine plan in place, whether you are vaccinated or not, in case your arrival test returns positive and you need to isolate in accordance with public health requirements.
  • To be considered fully vaccinated, a traveller must have received the full series of a vaccine — or combination of vaccines — accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.
  • Foreign nationals (including U.S. citizens) coming to Canada for non-essential reasons will be turned away at the border.
  • All international students planning on travelling to Canada for the purpose of studying at Okanagan College (OC) must submit their travel and quarantine plans to Okanagan College International as part of an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.
  • As part of pre-arrival planning, all travellers must ensure you are using the BC COVID-19 Support app as well as the ArriveCAN app.
  • The final authority allowing students into the country rests with the Canadian Border Services Agency. If you choose to travel to Canada, it is your responsibility to provide proof that you’re eligible. Determine whether you can enter Canada.
  • Students are responsible to cover all costs associated with testing and quarantine hotel expenses which are estimated to be a minimum of $4,000 CAD should you be required to quarantine in a Government approved hotel.  Be sure to bring financial support documents to demonstrate that you have enough funds available to pay for additional testing and hotel costs. If you test positive on arrival, you will be required to stay in quarantine at the government approved hotel (estimated nightly rates of $400-500 per night plus taxes).
  • Failure to comply with the COVID-19 Emergency order is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to imprisonment and/or fines.

To request a "Travel Support Letter", submit your travel and quarantine plans by clicking the button below.

 Submit the required plans

Students should plan to arrive to Canada with enough time to complete the 14-day quarantine before the in-person orientation and classes begin if classes are in-person.  Students should not arrive more than 21 days before the start of classes, as travel may be considered optional and discretionary and you may be refused entry to Canada.

  1. Carefully read all details on this page first.
  2. Determine your eligibility to travel and enter Canada.  You must have approval for a Study Permit and Entry Visa and be registered to start your classes within 21 days after arriving.
  3. Book your flights making sure to arrive with enough time to clear quarantine period and attend the required in-person orientation and start of face-to-face classes (if applicable).
  4. Book your quarantine accommodations.
  5. Submit your quarantine plan 1-3 weeks prior to travelling to Okanagan College International Education (OCIE). Upon verification of eligibility, we will provide a letter of support for travelling to Canada within 1 week. Request your travel support letter by completing your quarantine plan at the button above.
  6. Submit your quarantine plan to the Government of Canada through the ArriveCan app.

When booking your flight to Canada, be sure to book a connecting flight directly to your final destination airport in Kelowna (YLW) or Penticton (YYF) following your initial 3-day quarantine (if required).  It is advisable to book flights with the least number of connections. Direct to Vancouver as your port of entry to Canada is ideal.

OC requires all students have valid medical insurance before the date of travel.

As part of your quarantine plan, if you are entering Canada as an OC student for the first time, please let us know and we will enroll you in Guard.me coverage for three months ($188 charged to your OC student account) to cover you during your waiting period until you are eligible for BC Health coverage (MSP).

Upon arrival in BC you must apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP). View the guide below or contact us at intedmed@okanagan.bc.ca.

Returning/current students, please make sure your MSP coverage is active and valid.

Prior to August 9, 2021

Stage 1: 3 day stay in a government approved hotel as a stop-over in city of entry

You will be required to stay in a government approved hotel for 3 days while waiting for a negative COVID-19 test. If the test is negative you can travel to your final destination hotel. 

NOTE: You must complete your 14 day quarantine even if your arrival test is negative.

If your test is positive, you will be required to stay in quarantine at the government approved hotel for the full 14 days.

You are responsible for the cost of testing and 3-day hotel expenses, which are estimated to be $2,000 CAD or more. Be sure to bring financial support documents to demonstrate that you have enough funds available to pay for these testing and hotel costs.

Stage 2: 11 day self-isolation accommodation required

Okanagan College requires that you have arranged accommodations that allow you to self-isolate for your Stage 2 quarantine. Please see the link below for Government of Canada quarantine guidelines.

As of August 9, 2021 12:01 a.m. EDT

Stage 1: 3 day stop-over in entry city eliminated

Read the July 19 News Release and associated Backgrounder on International Students

14 day self-isolation is still required

Okanagan College requires that you have arranged accommodations that allow you to self-isolate for your 14 day quarantine.  Please see the link below for Government of Canada quarantine guidelines.

Quarantine guidelines   

Vaccinated Travellers

Fully vaccinated travellers may be exempt from quarantine requirements. Please see the link below for Government of Canada exemption information. 

Vaccinated travellers info

NOTE:  You are still required to have a quarantine plan in case you don’t get the exemption

  • Pack enough clothes for 14 days as you will not have access to laundry facilities until after the isolation period
  • Bring enough toiletries for 14 days
  • Bring your own electronic devices (laptop, tablet, cellular phone, etc.) as you will not be permitted to leave your room for 14 days, except to seek medical assistance
  • Report by email to the OC International Settlement and Support team confirming your arrival and completion of 14-day quarantine upon receiving your final COVID test result
  • If you feel unwell or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, please call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for guidance, and notify International Education immediately
  • You will not be permitted to have any guests to your room during the quarantine period
  • Check-in within 48 hours of arrival through the ArriveCAN app or call 1-833-641-0343

Two popular super markets in Kelowna offer online shopping and deliveries. Both carry a wide variety of food and healthcare products:

There are many options in Kelowna for take-out restaurant meals and delivery services:

Questions

If you need assistance or have questions with regard to your travel or quarantine plan, please send an email to inted@okanagan.bc.ca 

Use the iCent app to book a virtual appointment with an International Student Settlement and Support Service team member.

To get in touch with other International Education Staff such as an International Education Advisor (Academic), International Student Immigration Advisor or International Student Recruiter, visit Meet the Team.