Travel

Returning to Canada, Connecting Flight, and Self-Isolation

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  • Oct 14th, 2020 10:03 am
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[OP]
Deal Guru
May 9, 2007
11865 posts
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Vancouver Island, BC

Returning to Canada, Connecting Flight, and Self-Isolation

I am having a difficult time finding authoritative information about my question and I'm hoping that someone can help me find it. I have to be out of Canada in November/December, returning by air.

I live on Vancouver Island. My returning flight arrives in Canada at Calgary with a connecting flight to Vancouver Island within two hours. I will have to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival in Canada.

The information website says that travellers without symptoms,
You MUST quarantine for 14 days, provide contact information and monitor yourself for symptoms
It goes on to say,
Go directly to your place of quarantine without delay and stay there for 14 days from the date you arrived in Canada.
All bolding in original.

I am seeking to confirm that, if I am without symptoms, I will be able to get onto my connecting flight to Vancouver Island and drive straight home upon my arrival on Vancouver Island. I am looking for information that a traveller without symptoms does not have to self-isolate in the city where the flight arrives, i.e., in Calgary.

There is a phone number on that web page that says,
For more information
1-833-784-4397
I spent a half-hour or so on the phone with someone who kept telling me that a symptom-free traveller would not be required to self-isolate in Calgary. She said the information is on the website, but that they are not permitted to give callers specific pages to find information. (Sigh.)

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/ ... sheet.html
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39 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
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Mississauga
Yes, you can continue to transit to your connecting flight on the way back. I recommend downloading the ArriveCan app to speed up the customs process.
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Sep 6, 2002
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Vancouver
My friend arrived in Montreal from Paris (originally Barcelona) he was able to connect to Vancouver without issue. Canadian citizen

What I’m curious is about what happens if you don’t know anyone where you arrive if you can in fact take a taxi or uber. Considering many airports are impossible to leave by foot. What to do? Website is very unclear but hey that’s our government.
Autocorrect sucks
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
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GangStarr wrote: My friend arrived in Montreal from Paris (originally Barcelona) he was able to connect to Vancouver without issue. Canadian citizen

What I’m curious is about what happens if you don’t know anyone where you arrive if you can in fact take a taxi or uber. Considering many airports are impossible to leave by foot. What to do? Website is very unclear but hey that’s our government.
Private transportation is only highly recommended. If you have no other choice, you can still take public transit.
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Feb 1, 2005
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This is the closest I could find: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/multimedia/ ... n-eng.html

There are now two checkpoints related to traveller health. The first occurs when travellers disembark the aircraft at the gate, where a Border Services Officer will conduct a primary screening with every traveller and crew member.

Here, travellers must declare to the officer if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. Any traveller that self-declares or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 will be brought to a Quarantine Officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada, located in a pre-designated area of the airport. These travellers presenting symptoms will be provided a 14-day mandatory isolation order. These travellers will not be permitted to board a public conveyance for onward travel, be it a plane, bus, or train.

All travellers arriving in Canada, whether they have symptoms or not, will need to confirm that they have a suitable place to self-isolate where they will have access to basic necessities, and not have contact with vulnerable people, such as those with pre-existing medical conditions and people over 65.

Travellers who do not display or have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at the first checkpoint will be directed to the second checkpoint at the Primary Inspection area. Here, travellers will be asked questions once again, related to whether or not they are presenting symptoms of COVID-19. If a traveller declares that they have symptoms of COVID-19, they will be referred to a Quarantine Officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada for further examination.

If travellers do not have symptoms of COVID-19, a Border Services Officer will advise them they must quarantine for 14 days and provide them with handouts from the Public Health Agency of Canada, with instructions to follow.

The actual order is here: https://orders-in-council.canada.ca/att ... 82&lang=en
Jr. Member
Feb 14, 2008
101 posts
79 upvotes
Calgary
Speaking from experience as someone who has arrived twice in Canada in the last couple months. You are fine to take onward flights. You are fine to drive yourself (or have someone pick you up) from your final airport to your home / quarantine location. If someone picks you up, you are advised to sit in the back. Assume this would hold for taxi/rideshare as well. You must wear a mask at all times until you get to your quarantine location, unless you are in a vehicle by yourself.

Of course, all of this only holds true if you display no symptoms.
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Nov 2, 2002
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This is a very helpful thread. I will be travelling to Europe in 3 weeks with a connection via Montreal both ways.
How long does the each checkpoint take when returning back to Canada? Are there long lines? I use Nexus and usually speed through customs under normal times.
There’s limited flights to Toronto from Montreal to Toronto these days, so if I miss the last flight (19:00 lately), does they put me in a hotel? What if I test positive at the checkpoint, would they also put me in quarantine in Montreal for 14 days?
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Sr. Member
Oct 31, 2012
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Toronto
wysiwyg wrote: This is a very helpful thread. I will be travelling to Europe in 3 weeks with a connection via Montreal both ways.
How long does the each checkpoint take when returning back to Canada? Are there long lines? I use Nexus and usually speed through customs under normal times.
There’s limited flights to Toronto from Montreal to Toronto these days, so if I miss the last flight (19:00 lately), does they put me in a hotel? What if I test positive at the checkpoint, would they also put me in quarantine in Montreal for 14 days?
Nexus is for USA-CAN, not EU-CAN. Hopefully, they increase flights in the next 3 weeks but they should put you up in a hotel and give food and beverage vouchers or ask you to keep receipts (including toiletries) and then they will reimburse you up to a certain amount. If you, unfortunately, get quarantined in a hotel in Montreal, I hope you can earn points and nights Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes. I'm in a similar situation coming in from EU-YUL-YYZ.
Jr. Member
Feb 14, 2008
101 posts
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Calgary
wysiwyg wrote: This is a very helpful thread. I will be travelling to Europe in 3 weeks with a connection via Montreal both ways.
How long does the each checkpoint take when returning back to Canada? Are there long lines? I use Nexus and usually speed through customs under normal times.
There’s limited flights to Toronto from Montreal to Toronto these days, so if I miss the last flight (19:00 lately), does they put me in a hotel? What if I test positive at the checkpoint, would they also put me in quarantine in Montreal for 14 days?
By "checkpoint" do you mean CBSA? There are no temperature checks or anything until you go to your next flight. Clearly if you were visibly sick at passport control they would not allow you to board the next flight and you would definitely be put in quarantine in Montreal for the next 2 weeks in a hotel.

Both times I've returned from EU, the Nexus machines have been open but I didn't bother to use them - this was in YVR and YYC. Flights are lightly loaded (and it helps that I was the first person off the aircraft in each case). I think CBSA was pretty much fully staffed in both occasions - I think they want to avoid people lining up in a big mess like was happening back in March and April when everyone was rushing back to Canada.

Transfers are very easy at this point simply because there aren't many lines at all. I'd say you're at very low risk of missing your connection.
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Nov 2, 2002
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By checkpoints, I mean those additional ones when you get off the plane and the second one wherever that is. I usually declare food products (hard cheeses, chocolate), so may get sent to secondary for the quick look.

I was looking at the PDF document handed off to passengers and notice the following thing allowed:
✔ You may use shared spaces, or private outdoor spaces in your place of quarantine provided you:

✔ Avoid contact with others who did not travel with you;
✔ Disinfect spaces after use; RECOMMENDED during quarantine
✔ Wear a suitable non-medical mask or face covering if a distance of 2m from others residing in your place
of quarantine cannot be maintained.


I live alone in a condo. Does that mean I can go to the garbage chute, pick up mail and deliveries (corporation doesn’t allow delivery drivers to the units right now) I would obviously avoid any contact with others, like taking stairs, waiting for an empty elevator or during quiet times.
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Jr. Member
Feb 14, 2008
101 posts
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Calgary
There aren't any health checkpoints when getting off the plane. You will have your temperature checked before boarding in CDG to fulfill the Canadian requirement.

Regarding going to the garbage chute and mail, you'd have to ask at CBSA but it seems reasonable to do what you're proposing - and wear a mask outside of your apartment at any time. It's not like there's someone watching your every move to see if you go to drop off a bag of trash for 60 seconds.

Good luck with your trip.
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Nov 13, 2010
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Does anyone even checkup on those doing the quarantine at their homes ??
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
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donttoewsmebro wrote: Nexus is for USA-CAN, not EU-CAN. Hopefully, they increase flights in the next 3 weeks but they should put you up in a hotel and give food and beverage vouchers or ask you to keep receipts (including toiletries) and then they will reimburse you up to a certain amount. If you, unfortunately, get quarantined in a hotel in Montreal, I hope you can earn points and nights Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes. I'm in a similar situation coming in from EU-YUL-YYZ.
.... you can use NEXUS for incoming flights from international destination. The only difference is if you're connecting, some airports have a different connecting lane and they don't have any Nexus machines installed on those lanes.
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Jan 12, 2005
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yyc-guy wrote: There aren't any health checkpoints when getting off the plane. You will have your temperature checked before boarding in CDG to fulfill the Canadian requirement.

Regarding going to the garbage chute and mail, you'd have to ask at CBSA but it seems reasonable to do what you're proposing - and wear a mask outside of your apartment at any time. It's not like there's someone watching your every move to see if you go to drop off a bag of trash for 60 seconds.

Good luck with your trip.
You're technically not suppose to check your mail or take out the garbage as they want to prevent spreading from touching things in case you do have covid.
Sr. Member
Oct 31, 2012
729 posts
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Toronto
GateGuardian wrote: .... you can use NEXUS for incoming flights from international destination. The only difference is if you're connecting, some airports have a different connecting lane and they don't have any Nexus machines installed on those lanes.
Ahh good to know. I never have met any line up more than 30 seconds for a machine and another 45 seconds to 1min to hand in that form. Good to know that I'm not missing much (as a leisure traveller, I don't go to the US too often) as its not always usable.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
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West
wysiwyg wrote: I live alone in a condo. Does that mean I can go to the garbage chute, pick up mail and deliveries (corporation doesn’t allow delivery drivers to the units right now) I would obviously avoid any contact with others, like taking stairs, waiting for an empty elevator or during quiet times.
The rules state you shouldn't be in any public space. If you're a real stand-up citizen, you'd just ask your neighbour or family member to do it for you (or whoever is delivering your groceries/food), if they felt comfortable. Part of the reason why these overarching policies have to be put in place is that the government doesn't have time to nail down super nitty-gritty details to every individualized circumstance, and simply because the public cannot be trusted to use any sort of logic 99.9% of the time.

That said, I don't think many reasonable people would blame you for carrying out the bare minimal, super essential tasks with no other alternative present, provided you are adhering to strict precautions. Things like making sure you're squeaky clean before exiting, considering times where no one else is out, wear a mask, minimize touching of surfaces (wiping anything you do touch), and going straight to the garbage chute/mail & back when absolutely necessary to.

Just don't tell anyone you've been away internationally if you're going to do those tasks yourself. Always a risk of someone snitching on you these days... some rightfully so, others are completely illogical.
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Jan 12, 2005
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Phonophoresis wrote: The rules state you shouldn't be in any public space. If you're a real stand-up citizen, you'd just ask your neighbour or family member to do it for you (or whoever is delivering your groceries/food), if they felt comfortable. Part of the reason why these overarching policies have to be put in place is that the government doesn't have time to nail down super nitty-gritty details to every individualized circumstance, and simply because the public cannot be trusted to use any sort of logic 99.9% of the time.

That said, I don't think many reasonable people would blame you for carrying out the bare minimal, super essential tasks with no other alternative present, provided you are adhering to strict precautions. Things like making sure you're squeaky clean before exiting, considering times where no one else is out, wear a mask, minimize touching of surfaces (wiping anything you do touch), and going straight to the garbage chute/mail & back when absolutely necessary to.

Just don't tell anyone you've been away internationally if you're going to do those tasks yourself. Always a risk of someone snitching on you these days... some rightfully so, others are completely illogical.
True, but if someone rats him out and the condo has video evidence, he's going to get fined.
[OP]
Deal Guru
May 9, 2007
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WestJet resolved my problem with them. They cancelled the flight they had committed to put me on without offering an alternative, and declined to refund my fare, putting it into a credit instead. :(

I tracked down a WestJet return-trip itinerary for week later that would bring me from Mexico to Vancouver directly. WestJet wanted C$1400+ for this return-trip itinerary as a code-share with AeroMexico. AeroMexico was charging under C$700 for the same itinerary.

I hope I’ll be able to use the WestJet credit someday, but I’m considering cancelling my RBC/WestJet credit card. No point in paying for a credit card and building flight dollars if WestJet is not going to fulfill reservations.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair

Our house is on fire.” Greta Thunberg
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
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Looks like sniffer dogs can be trained to detect covid (they detect the changes in your metabolism if you have covid) :

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/dog ... nailing-it

...... the (helsinki) airport is engaging in a trial that has seen 10 specially-trained sniffer dogs brought in to detect passengers sick with the coronavirus, some of whom can be asymptomatic. Four COVID-detecting canines will be deployed each shift to screen passengers, who will also receive a standard screening to ensure the dogs’ results are correct.

The pups were trained by smell detection agency Wise Nose, which works to “maintain and promote olfactory discrimination skills and organize a variety of training and performance opportunities.” Wise Nose claims the dogs can detect the coronavirus with near-100 per cent accuracy. “We think that this works because the metabolic processes in the body of a diseased patient are completely changed,” Maren von Koeckritz-Blickwede, a professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, explained in a video posted to YouTube. “We think that the dogs are able to detect a specific smell.”

Newbie
Oct 3, 2020
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Hi All,

I’ve gone back and forth between the USA and Canada 6 times since March. I work in the USA as an engineer, but I’m a Canadian citizen. I have residences in both countries. I’m also a NEXUS pass holder.

Here’s the truth: if you’re a Canadian citizen, then there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about when returning to Canada. The goal of the land border closure (and yes, it’s the land border going into the US that’s closed - ports of entry through Pearson and presumably other Canadian airports are “open” - American agents aren’t actively vetting the purpose of travel, though best to have a good reason) is really to keep Americans out of Canada. Don’t get me started on the politics of the decision, but it suffices to say that it’s made life very difficult for Canadians who have to navigate these draconian rules while going back and forth for good reason. But you have citizen rights returning to Canada and that’s what matters. The Arrive Canada app is not mandated upon entry. Instead there is a paper form that essentially gets filed along with all the other customs documentation which lists your quarantine location (presumably your residence). It’s incumbent upon you to fill it out accurately and respect the quarantine mandate, but honestly, they’re very relaxed at the border with Canadian citizens. And they should be - if you don’t have COVID (and what sensible person would travel if they knew that had it or had symptoms) it would be a violation of your Charter Rights to deny you entry. I can’t speak to international travel outside of the USA but I imagine it’s the same - fill out the form, be on your merry way.

Additionally, now at Pearson Terminal 1, they’re offering free COVID tests on your way out to collect data that will hopefully reduce or eliminate the quarantine period. Canada is (as far as I’m aware) the only advanced nation that has the mask mandate and quarantine rules. If you’re not displaying symptoms, then it’s stands to reason that the mask and social distancing should be sufficient to prevent spread in the unlikely event that you’re an asymptomatic carrier. So they are trying to roll this back by collecting data to demonstrate that incoming travelers are not significantly more likely to have COVID. Also, to put your mind at ease, it’s not the brain scrape nasal test - it’s just the tip of the nose. No big deal.

Hope this helps some of you planning to travel. Yes, you are allowed to travel outside of Canada if you so choose and no one can stop you from returning, despite the Karenization of public discourse around this topic. Canadians should really be more angry about the situation. It’s reflexive anti-American reaction as far as I can tell, not an honest consideration of the facts - but in the end, it only really hurts Canadians. Happy to wear a mask and social distance - not sure why we need to be under house arrest for weeks as well with no symptoms just for crossing an imaginary line. Hopefully they change it soon.

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