How should I go about planning my arrival to Canada?
June 27, 2021 6:17 AM   Subscribe

So, I'm finally arriving into Canada on August 8th. Fortunately, the government has announced that if you're fully vaccinated you don't have to do quarantine. However, it's not that simple and it is the border officer that will determine this based on whether you meet certain requirements.

I meet those requirements. However, they still say that you should have a quarantine plan. This is really difficult because I cannot make a reservation at a hotel that I could cancel over there. I'm arriving at 7:00 PM and there's just no way any booking I make is going to be able to be canceled by that time. I could try my luck with airbnb and negotiate with some owner that might be willing to hold a place for me longer.

Nonetheless, this is really not a good position to be in and I don't want to make promises of reservations that I will not be able to keep.

Anyway, I'm unsure of what to do and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.
posted by Tarsonis10 to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
See if your university's international student support office has advice for you. Ours has been helping arriving international students set up their quarantine plans for the past year.
posted by heatherlogan at 6:50 AM on June 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Where are you staying in the absence of a quarantine requirement. Can you not quarantine there? Even if it's a house with other people in it, if there's a room and a bathroom you can stay in exclusively for two weeks and someway to get food into that room (and garbage and dirty dishes out), that's a quarantine plan.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:50 AM on June 27, 2021

Response by poster: Already talked to my uni, they don't have a lot of advice.

Yes, I have a house I can stay in. However, it's a drive from Toronto to Kingston and I don't have private transportation to get there. I'm unsure of what they would say if I told them that.

For the record I don't think I'll have to do anything. But you gotta be prepared.
posted by Tarsonis10 at 6:57 AM on June 27, 2021

Hmm... I found arrival/quarantine instructions from uOttawa [not my uni] here.

Also it is possible to fly from Toronto to the tiny Kingston airport (YGK; do not accidentally book a flight to the far more popular Kingston, Jamaica!).
posted by heatherlogan at 7:23 AM on June 27, 2021

One more, if you're on Reddit, the Queen's University subreddit might be able to give you advice.
posted by heatherlogan at 7:26 AM on June 27, 2021

Response by poster: I doubt they'll know anything I already don't know. If the international center doesn't have any solutions for it, they do not either.
posted by Tarsonis10 at 7:44 AM on June 27, 2021

Can you book a hotel, and then eat the cancellation fee if you don't need it? Depending on your circumstances this may not be feasible, but it's one way to know you're good.
posted by Alterscape at 8:05 AM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This page has all the info you need to prepare. You are correct that you will need a quarantine plan anyway.

You can book hotel rooms on with free cancellation. You can cancel up to the day before, so book two stays, before the first night and one for the remainder of your stay. This way if you need to cancel, you'll only pay for one night.
posted by ananci at 8:13 AM on June 27, 2021 [11 favorites]

Best answer: Can your quarantine plan be "I will take an expensive Uber from Toronto to my permanent lodgings in Kingston"? How detailed does this have to be? How do people get to their quarantine hotels from the airport generally?
posted by mskyle at 8:16 AM on June 27, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: See “getting to your place of quarantine” on this page. Using a private vehicle to travel to your place of quarantine is strongly recommended, but not required.

You should book whatever transportation you need to get from the airport to the place where you’re staying, and have those bookings ready to show the border agent at the airport. That plus the place where you’re staying is your quarantine plan.

(I recently reentered Canada and had to jump through all these hoops as well.)
posted by mekily at 8:53 AM on June 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Last time I reply, please don't remove mods.

Anyway, two bookings sounds ingenious, thanks a loooot, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Never would have thought of that one.
posted by Tarsonis10 at 9:30 AM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is a great situation where you should consider calling the hotel and explaining the situation. In my experience, hotels are generally quite flexible about modifying reservations with a 24h lead time (capacity permitting). Third party booking sites generally don't give you nearly as much flexibility.
posted by kdar at 11:08 AM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

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