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Anyone who is now flying to Canada and landing in Calgary, British Columbia, Toronto, or Montreal must now stay in one of the Canada quarantine hotels for three nights. This hotel stay upon arrival is mandatory, and it’s at your own expense. While this may seem unfair to some people, it’s in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A few quick reminders. The Canadian government is advising all Canadians to avoid non-essential travel. If you are returning to Canada for whatever reason, you need to follow all the new rules or you could face fines. You also need proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken up to 72 hours before your scheduled flight departure.

You’ll also need to take another COVID-19 test when you arrive in Canada. Your hotel stay must be booked prior to your departure. To prove that you have a reservation at a qualifying hotel, you must use the ArriveCAN app. Here’s everything you need to know about hotel quarantine in Canada.

What are the approved quarantine hotels in Canada?

Right now the government has unveiled a list of approved quarantine hotels that are only available in four cities. This may seem odd, but currently, only four cities are accepting international travellers so it makes sense. If your final destination is somewhere else in the country, you still have to do the quarantine in the arrival city. You may need to adjust the final leg of your flight due to the new rules. Airlines are aware of this and have not been charging a change fee when it’s related to hotel quarantines.

Admittedly, the list of hotels does seem short, but the government has already said that they plan on adding additional hotels in the near future. This article will be updated when that happens.

Quarantine hotels in Calgary

  • Acclaim Hotel
  • Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel

Quarantine hotels in Vancouver

  • Days Inn by Wyndham
  • Fairmont Vancouver Airport
  • Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel
  • Radisson Vancouver Airport
  • Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport

Quarantine hotels in Toronto

  • Alt Hotel Pearson Airport
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Toronto Airport
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport
  • Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport
  • Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre

Quarantine hotels in Montreal

  • Aloft Montreal Airport
  • Baymont by Wyndham Montreal Airport
  • Crowne Plaza Montreal Airport
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites Montreal Airport
  • Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal

How to book Canada quarantine hotels?

Hotel reservations are handled by GB Travel Canada Inc., which is actually American Express Global Business Travel. This is a dedicated travel agency, so they know what they’re doing, but for whatever reason, you can only make your reservations by phone. The numbers are as follows:

  • 1-800-294-8253 (toll-free within North America)
  • 1-613-830-2992 (collect outside of North America)

While the government suggests booking your hotel within 48 hours of your departure, I wouldn’t take a chance. The hours of operation are 8AM to 11PM EST, 7 days a week, so you might as well try to book things well in advance if you know your dates.

When you call, you’ll have to choose one of the pre-approved hotels on the government list, and you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Traveller name(s)
  • Date(s) of birth
  • Gender (male, female, or undisclosed)
  • Arrival city and date
  • Confirmation of flight reservation
  • Payment information
  • Special requests and accessibility concerns
  • Pet information
  • Email address

You’ll get a confirmation almost immediately. Don’t forget to put the info into the ArriveCAN app.

How much do Canada quarantine hotels cost?

When the initial announcement was made, the Canadian government suggested that hotel reservations for three nights could cost up to $2,000. While that seemed astronomical, we now that expense covers all of the following:

  • Food (3 times daily)
  • Room
  • Security
  • Transportation
  • Infection prevention and control measures

I’m not suggesting that the included “benefits” justifies the cost, but that’s what you’ll need to pay if you’re returning to Canada. The good news is that costs can vary from hotel to hotel. A quick search shows that prices can range from $300 to $700 a night. Again, this must be paid in advance. On a positive note, you can add your hotel loyalty program number to get status qualifying nights, but don’t expect any additional benefits.

The cost is per room and can hold up to 4 people. The prices will feel a bit more reasonable if you have 3-4 people sharing a room. However, if you’re a family of 5 that’s forced to book two rooms, you’ll likely not be happy at all.

Note that you can still book the standard nightly rate, which is much cheaper since it doesn’t include all the extra services. However, since you need to quarantine, the hotel will change your reservation when you arrive and charge you the difference. There is no way around this cost, so don’t try to cheat the system.

Getting to your hotel is easy. You can drive your own car if it’s parked in one of the airport’s parking lots. You could even walk if public transportation isn’t required. There are also shuttle buses for government-authorized hotels or you can take a taxi (at your own expense). 

What to expect during your hotel quarantine in Canada

During your stay, you need to follow the rules and regulations of the Quarantine Act. If you decide to break the rules, you can face some pretty crazy fines. The hotel stay is pretty straightforward, but there are a few things you should be looking out for.

Make sure you’re self-monitoring for any symptoms of COVID. You don’t really have a choice here since you need to report things daily via the ArriceCAN app. Although you won’t have much face-to-face contact with people outside of your room, you’ll obviously need to wear a mask when it does happen. E.g., when you’re opening the door to get your meals or being escorted outside.

Yes, you can go outside for a limited period of time. Every hotel has a designated location and schedule. This will allow the hotel to manage guest flow so you can easily maintain a 2-metre distance from others.

Cleaning services will not be available during your stay, but you will be provided with hand sanitizer and surface disinfectants. If you have a pet, make sure you’re booking a hotel that allows pets.

Checking out of Quarantine hotels in Canada

As soon as you get your negative test, you can choose to check out right away. Of course, you can’t just go wherever you like after. You still need to finish your 14-day self-isolation. You must provide an approved quarantine plan or you’ll be sent to a federal quarantine facility for the remainder of the 14 days.

If you get a positive result, you must stay in your room. Public health will contact you with instructions. You’ll need to isolate for the full 14 days in either a federal quarantine facility or another approved location.

Those who have received inconclusive results are advised to stay in their room. Public health will get in contact with the next steps. You may be able to go home if you have an isolation plan and a private way to get to your final destination.

When does Canada’s quarantine end?

Right now, the three night hotel quarantine and 14-day self-isolation when entering Canada is mandatory. No one knows for sure when Canada’s quarantine will end. To be realistic, the hotel quarantine likely won’t end until COVID-19 infection rates have dropped considerably. That said, it would not be surprising if the Canadian government modifies their policy over time.

Eventually, when more people are vaccinated, the government may allow some people to bypass the hotel quarantine phase. However, it’s also possible that harsher rules may come into place. Remember, all of these rules are meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Canada Quarantine Hotels
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About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi

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