Arrival and Quarantine in Canada

Arrival in Halifax

Students arriving in Halifax from outside of Canada or from another Canadian province or territory may have to complete a quarantine period depending on their vaccination status. Students may be exempt from quarantine requirements if they are fully vaccinated and meet other conditions set out by the Government of Canada. Information on this exemption process can be found here. If students do not qualify for an exemption, they must travel directly to Nova Scotia to complete the quarantine period. 

Helpful documents:

Students living on-campus

  • ALL residents with a confirmed space in residence for Fall 2021 who require a quarantine period based on travel MUST arrange and confirm their quarantine AT LEAST 7 DAYS IN ADVANCE by contacting Housing & Conference Services by email at
    Emails MUST include:
    1. Student Name
    2. Student Number (A#)
    3. Expected Arrival Date & Time
    4. Any Dietary Restrictions / Considerations
    PLEASE NOTE: Residents whose quarantine periods begin prior to September 4, 2021 (when residence opens) will be subject to additional charges for accommodations and meals. Residents who withdraw from residence early may also be subject to additional fees associated with their quarantine period.  For more information, please review the Housing & Residence website.
  • Residence Assistants and International Student Centre staff will engage with students virtually and provide opportunities for students to connect with floormates and other students.

Students living off-campus

International students- If you are not qualified for an exemption, you must travel directly to Nova Scotia to complete the 14-day quarantine period. Effective August 13, 2021, international students arriving from outside of Canada who are not exempt from quarantine can apply to stay at any location to complete their quarantine, provided it meets the following requirements: 

  • You can stay for 14 days or possibly longer 
  • You have access to the necessities of life, including water, food, medication and heat without leaving quarantine 
  • You can avoid contact with others who did not travel with you 
  • You have no visits from family or guests 

Hotels are a suitable quarantine location, though you should follow the COVID-19 regulations hotels have for quarantining travellers. International students must get approval to stay in an off-campus or private accommodation for quarantine. You must complete the SMU Quarantine Plan Approval Form before arriving in Nova Scotia. You will be notified if your quarantine plan is approved.

Domestic students from outside of Nova Scotia - Students arriving in Halifax from outside of Nova Scotia who need to quarantine and are living off-campus can quarantine in their off-campus accommodations. Students must choose one location to remain at for the entire quarantine period. General guidelines are as follows:

  • limit contact with people you live with as much as possible
  • use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if you can
  • take and record your temperature daily and avoid fever-reducing medications (like acetaminophen and ibuprofen)
  • have groceries and other supplies delivered
  • avoid anyone with chronic conditions or a compromised immune system, and older adults
  • don't have visitors to your home
  • avoid taking public transportation (like a taxi, bus or shuttle) if possible; if you do need to take public transportation, wear a mask and keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from others, as much as you can
  • don’t take public transportation if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • stay home (you can go on your deck or balcony or in your yard, but you need to avoid contact with other people)

When you’re in your home:

  • keep shared spaces (like kitchens and bathrooms) clean and well ventilated
  • use soap and water to clean dishes and utensils after each use
  • clean door handles, light switches, railings, remotes and other high-touch areas daily
  • clean your home and household items with store bought disinfectant or diluted bleach solution—5 mL of bleach per 250 mL of water, or 20mL per litre
  • wash clothes and linens using your regular laundry soap and water (60-90°C)
  • don't share personal items, like toothbrushes, clothing, towels or drinks
  • use disposable gloves and protective clothing (like plastic aprons) when cleaning anything soiled with bodily fluids, if available

Testing During Quarantine

International travellers:  you should receive a COVID-19 At Home Specimen Collection Kit to use for your test on day 8 of your mandatory quarantine.  Information on this home test can be found here. If you did not receive one of these kits, you must email and provide your name, address, and the date and name of airport of your arrival into Canada.  You are not permitted to leave your 14-day quarantine until this home test kit has been completed and negative test result has been received. 

Domestic travellers: The Government of Nova Scotia is asking all post-secondary students arriving from domestic travel to get a COVID test on days 1-2 and 6-7 of your quarantine period. You can book your test (a few days earlier) by filling in the self-screening assessment.  You should only leave quarantine to attend the test and return immediately with no stops along the way.  Please follow all other instructions from Public Health. 

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms at any time during your quarantine period, you are required to fill out the self-screening assessment to book a test.  You should only leave quarantine to attend the test and return immediately with no stops along the way.  Please follow all other instructions from Public Health.  If you need assistance booking travel to your testing location, call 1-844-996-0694. 

After Quarantine

You may leave your quarantine location once you have completed your required quarantine period and as long as you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. You also must complete the requirements set out by the Federal Government to complete your 8-day Home Test Kit and receive a negative test result.  If you have not completed your Home Test Kit AND received a negative test result, you cannot leave your quarantine location.

Nova Scotia is enforcing required public health protocols such as wearing face masks and 6ft social distancing guidelines as part of the Health Protection Act Order by the Medical Officer of Health

Please familiarize yourself with these guidelines and the expectations outlined by Saint Mary’s University.

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