Travel Info & Advisories

Travel Info & Advisories


1:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 25: Travel-related update from the Federal government

The Government of Canada 
is making use of the federal Quarantine Act in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting on Thursday, March 26, all travellers returning to Canada are now legally required to go into self-isolation for 14 days rather than simply being urged to do so. Read more Federal travel recommendations and information here.

Update: 4 p.m. Monday, March 16: 
Travel-related update from the Federal government

The Government of Canada has announced that the Canadian border will close to foreign nationals on Tuesday, March 17. Those exempt from crossing closure include: Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, their family members, air crews, diplomatic staff, residents of the United States, as well as commercial and trade shipments. 

Canadian citizens and permanent residents currently travelling are urged by the government to return to Canada while commercial means are available. All airline passengers will be screened for COVID-19 before boarding, and those exhibiting symptoms will not be permitted to board the airline. International arrivals will only be permitted in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, where international travellers will receive instructions about self-isolating for 14 days. Read the full media release here.

Okanagan College COVID-19 International Travel Directive
As instructed by the provincial government and following our practice with all major infectious disease issues, the College will seek and follow the advice of the Provincial Public Health Officer and the Interior Health on all issues related to COVID-19 virus.

Recognizing the rapidly developing nature of the COVID-19 coronavirus issue globally, we are responding with protocols, procedures and practices that are meant to guide the institution through the course of the situation. The College’s commitment to ensuring staff and student safety, policies regarding privacy and travel, Ministry and government directives, and realization of the need to mitigate risk to the College and larger community inform the following. 

International Employee Travel for Business Purposes: Okanagan College employees on College business, including professional development, will not travel to or through countries for which the federal government has issued coronavirus-specific level three or four travel advisories.

For an explanation of the four levels, please click here (scroll to the bottom of the page) or see the definitions below.

All OC employees travelling internationally on institutional business should consider registering with the Canadian government and abide by Okanagan College’s travel policy.  

Employees and students travelling on OC business should also register on the College’s international travel registry

International Travel for Personal Reasons: While Okanagan College does not control personal employee travel plans, individuals planning to travel to countries bearing a coronavirus-specific level three or level four travel alert should inform their supervisor and discuss implications of self-quarantine recommendations from the federal government for their return to work.

Outbound Student Academic Activities: Outbound academic activities that involve travel to or through nations subject to a coronavirus-specific level two or three travel advisory shall be subject to a review by the relevant Program Dean, the Vice President Students, and the Provost and Vice President Academic. The activity shall be reviewed 60 days prior to planned commencement for a determination of whether conditions warrant immediate cancellation, or whether a further review at 45 days is warranted. If a 45-day review is conducted, a determination will be made then whether conditions warrant cancellation. If the event or initiative is not cancelled at that point, the next review will occur at 30 days with the expected outcome to be a go/no go decision.

Inbound International and Returning Domestic Students: The federal government controls in-migration to Canada for purposes of study. Okanagan College will monitor the advice and direction from the federal government regarding international student activity and OC’s International Education department will be in contact with individual international students and prospective students. Determination of deadlines and processes regarding refund of application fees and deposits from students in coronavirus-affected situations are yet to be made. In the case of inbound international students from a country identified as warranting a level three or four travel advisory, Okanagan College will look to the advice and direction of federal and provincial authorities, with input from Interior Health, with regard to the matter of self-quarantine. Returning domestic students from countries with a coronavirus specific level three or four travel advisory should follow federal and provincial guidelines with regard to self-isolation.

Inbound International Students in Homestay Situations: Should self-quarantine for an incoming international student in a homestay situation be a requirement or suggestion of federal, provincial or regional health authorities, determination of processes will be made on a case-by-case basis, dealing with the individual student and the homestay host. Okanagan College is not responsible for the costs of accommodation or lodging for its international students, but may work with students and homestay hosts to help mitigate the impact or consequences of self-quarantine.

Federal travel alert definitions

Level 1 - Practice usual precautions

Travel health notices advise practising usual travel health precautions. For example, notices at this level may remind travellers about routine vaccinations, highlight the importance of hand washing, or recommend protective measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Level 2 – Practise special precautions

Travel health notices recommend that travellers practice special health precautions, such as receiving additional vaccinations. A notice at this level would be issued if there is an outbreak in a limited geographic location, a newly identified disease in the region or a change in the existing pattern of disease.

Level 3 – Avoid non-essential travel

Travel health notices include a warning to avoid non-essential travel in order to protect the health of Canadian travellers and the Canadian public. The notice outlines specific precautions to take when visiting the region and what to do if you become ill during or after travel. A notice at this level would be issued during a large-scale outbreak in a large geographic area, or if there is increased risk to the traveller and an increased risk of spreading disease to other groups including the Canadian public.

Level 4 - Avoid all travel

Advises travellers to avoid all travel in order to protect the health of the Canadian public. A notice at this level would be issued if there is a high risk of spread of disease to the general public regardless of measures taken while travelling. Avoiding travel will limit the spread of the disease in Canada and internationally.