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Ottawa releases list of government-authorized quarantine hotels

The Canadian government has released its preliminary list of approved hotels for its post-travel quarantine requirement for international arrivals, which takes effect Feb 22.

There are 11 hotels listed in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary on the Government of Canada’s website.

Hotel stopover bookings are managed by American Express Global Business Travel and available by phone only, and travellers looking to book the mandatory three-night hotel stopover can call 1-800-294-8253.

Travellers will be able to choose their hotel and will receive email confirmation of their accommodation within four hours of booking, the government says.

Costs of these hotel stopovers, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously pegged at $2,000, may vary by location, it was noted.

However, the Canadian Press reported on Friday (Feb 19) that quarantine rates are far lower that originally stated, with nightly rates at Toronto's Alt Hotel Toronto Airport and the Sheraton Gateway Hotel (two participating hotels) starting at $339 and $319 respectively.

The price will include costs associated with food, the room, security, transportation, and infection prevention and control measures, Ottawa says.

At a media briefing on Friday, Prime Minister Trudeau briefly touched on the hotel measure, responding to a claim that the phone number for reservations is not working.

"Our officials are working very hard to ensure the quarantine system is in place by Monday," Trudeau said, speaking in French. "We will be able to communicate with Canadians in regards to instructions with how to comply with the measures."

PAX called the phone number at 1:15 p.m. EST on Friday and the line was working just fine, despite being informed of a high call volume.

The preliminary list

Quarantine hotels are located within 10 km of the four airports currently accepting air arrivals – this being, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

The preliminary list of approved hotels is as follows:

In British Columbia, near Vancouver International Airport (YVR):

  • Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport

In Alberta, near Calgary International Airport (YYC):

  • Acclaim Hotel

  • Marriott Calgary Airport

In Ontario, near Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ):

  • Alt Hotel Pearson Airport

  • Four Points by Sheraton and Element Toronto Airport

  • Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport

  • Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport

In Quebec, near Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL):

  • Aloft Montreal Airport

  • Crowne Plaza Montreal Airport

  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites Montreal Airport

  • Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal

The government notes that this list is incomplete and "will be finalized in the coming days."

Feds clarify rules

Travellers will need to book their hotel in the city in which they first arrive in Canada, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said at a press conference on Feb. 12.

Receiving a negative COVID-19 PCR test, which international arrivals will undergo at the airport, will determine next steps.

If a traveller received a negative test, they will be free to leave their hotel quarantine and continue onward travel, whether that be a connecting flight or their final destination. (Canada’s 14-day quarantine order, however, remains in effect).

The hotel stay has been framed around three days. However, if a traveller receives their negative PCR test result earlier than that, they will be allowed to leave their hotel.

“The billing will be done through the hotels,” Minister Hajdu said. “[Hotels] will have the flexibility to adjust their billing as they see fit.”

Also, if a couple is travelling together, and returning home together to complete their quarantine, they can share a room, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said last week.

If a traveller tests positive, they will be transferred to a federally-run quarantine site in the same city and their conditions will be monitored.

Vaccinated people will not be exempt from these measures, Minister Hajdu has confirmed.

No hotel required if entering by land

Starting Feb. 22, all travellers, whether entering Canada by land or air, will be required to submit their travel and contact information, such as their quarantine plan or hotel booking, electronically via the ArriveCAN app before crossing the border or boarding a flight.

Travellers entering Canada by land will not be required to stay in a hotel on entry.

“Many of those points of entry [by land] are located in remote, rural areas that are not readily accessible to hotels, for example, or other amenities that would be required,” said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair last week, noting how there’s 117 land entry points.

In addition, starting Feb. 22, travellers entering by land and air will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival, as well as a second test toward the end of their 14-day quarantine, the government announced on its website.

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