Canada has announced a mandatory hotel quarantine for all international air travellers beginning as of February 22, 2021.
The list of government-approved quarantine hotels is now available online, and you must reserve a three-night stay at one of these hotels prior to departing on your trip for Canada.
List of Government-Approved Quarantine Hotels
The government has published a list of 18 quarantine hotels in the four cities across Canada whose airports are currently handling international flights.
Calgary International Airport (YYC):
- Acclaim Hotel
- Marriott Calgary Airport In-Terminal Hotel
Vancouver International Airport (YVR):
- Days Inn by Wyndham
- Fairmont Vancouver Airport
- Four Points by Sheraton Vancouver Airport
- Radisson Vancouver Airport
- Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ):
- Alt Hotel Pearson Airport
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Toronto Airport
- Four Points by Sheraton and Element Toronto Airport
- Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport
- Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport
- Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre
Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL):
- Aloft Montreal Airport
- Baymont by Wyndham Montreal Airport
- Crowne Plaza Montreal Airport
- Holiday Inn Express and Suites Montreal Airport
- Marriott Montreal Airport In-Terminal Hotel
How to Book Your Quarantine Hotel
GB Travel Inc. has been chosen as the designated travel agency for handling quarantine hotel bookings. The bookings can only be made by phone at 1-800-294-8253 (toll-free within North America) or 1-613-830-2992 (collect outside of North America).
(American Express Global Business Travel had been listed as the designated travel agency as of the initial launch on February 19, but GB Travel Inc. seems to have taken over now.)
You’ll be able to choose from the listed hotel locations and be required to provide:
- Traveller name(s)
- Date(s) of birth
- Arrival city and date
- Payment information
- Special requests and accessibility concerns
- Pet information
Travellers will receive email confirmation of their accommodation within four hours of booking.
Cost of Quarantine Hotels
The costs of quarantine hotels will vary by location. The price will include costs associated with the room, food, transportation, infection prevention and control measures, and 24-hour security.
I called the designated American Express Global Business Travel phone line to get an idea of the costs for quarantine hotels. However, the agent seemed to mistakenly quote me the (much lower) regular public rates, instead of the special rates for the three-day quarantine.
Speaking to some of the individual hotels under the Marriott brand, however, I was informed that the special Marriott rate code for the three-night quarantine stays is “RZL”.
Using this code, we can pull up the actual expected rates for a three-night stay at one of the hotels (although the rooms cannot be booked online and still must be booked through the designated phone line).
Here are the rates at the Marriott Calgary Airport In-Terminal Hotel:
Here are the rates at the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport:
Here are the rates at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Toronto Airport:
And here are the rates at the Marriott Montreal Airport In-Terminal Hotel:
As you can see, the rates are on par with the $2,000+ cost of a three-night quarantine hotel that was initially communicated by the federal government, although some rooms can be booked for as little as $1,300. The other non-Marriott hotels around each airport may be even cheaper.
Each rate includes three meals a day delivered to your room (seemingly up to a maximum of $125), as well as the cost of 24-hour security at the hotel. The rates need to be prepaid in full at the time of booking.
Each hotel offers rooms that can accommodate a maximum occupancy of four, which you can use if travelling as a family. In most cases, if your group consists of more than four travellers, you’ll need to book multiple rooms.
The regular public rates at these hotels are obviously much lower. If you’ve booked a regular public rate but you show up at the hotel to complete your three-day quarantine, the front desk will have to modify your rate to the higher quarantine rate.
Speaking to a few of the hotels, I’ve been told that guests may attach their Marriott Bonvoy number to these rates after completing the reservation.
I wouldn’t necessarily expect to receive a room or suite upgrade (since I assume the hotels will have designated rooms on designated floors for their quarantining guests), but it should be possible to earn Marriott Bonvoy points on these rather expensive hotel stays – perhaps a small silver lining in the grand scheme of things.
Guidelines for Your Quarantine Hotel Stay
You’ll need to reserve your quarantine hotel prior to your arrival into Canada, and include the hotel booking as part of your declaration of your quarantine plans through the ArriveCAN app.
From the airport, you may drive yourself to your hotel if your private vehicle is parked in one of the airport’s parking lots and within walking distance from the airport. You are instructed to go directly to your hotel, without stopping for gas, food or other items.
Otherwise, if you don’t have a private vehicle, you may also take a hotel shuttle bus, taxi, or limousine.
The following rules and guidelines apply to your three-day hotel quarantine:
- Meals will be delivered to your room three times daily.
- Cleaning personnel won’t enter your room during this mandatory stopover period. You’ll be provided with 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer and approved hard surface disinfectants to clean your room, and you may request additional towels and toiletries.
- Travellers who don’t have symptoms can go outside for limited, monitored, socially-distanced, and masked outdoor time. Check with the hotel for the location and schedule.
- Looking at the rate details for the Marriott hotels, it seems like you’re allowed to take “healthy or smoke breaks” up to three times per day.
- You aren’t permitted to interact with travellers outside your immediate household or visit common areas of the hotel, such as the lobby or pool.
Once you’ve received your negative test, even if it’s before the end of your scheduled three-night stay, you can call the hotel reception and notify them of your checkout. You may then proceed to your designated quarantine location to complete the remainder of your 14-day quarantine.
If you’ve received a positive test, stay in your room until you are contacted by a public health official with instructions. You’ll be required to isolate for 14 days from when the sample was collected in a federal designated quarantine facility.
If your test is inconclusive or you’re still awaiting a result after three days, you are also instructed to stay in your room until contacted by a public health official. You may be allowed to leave for your own quarantine location if you have a suitable quarantine plan in place.
What If Your Final Destination Is Elsewhere in Canada?
If you’re headed somewhere other than Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal, you will still need to complete the three-day hotel quarantine around one of these four airports before catching the domestic flight(s) to your final destination upon checking out.
You may need to reschedule the final leg of your journey as a result. Canada’s airlines have implemented special policies to support the new hotel quarantine procedure, so you’ll be able to rebook your itinerary for no change fee and no fare difference to schedule your final domestic flight for three days after your initial arrival into Canada.
If you need to reschedule your domestic flight due to a positive or inconclusive test result, your airline should be able to accommodate that change request as well.
Canada’s hotel quarantine requirement for international air travellers will begin as of February 22, 2021.
The list of government-approved quarantine hotels is now available, and in most cases, the costs for a three-night stay appear to be far below the $2,000+ amount that was initially communicated.
We’ll soon find out more information about Canada’s hotel quarantine from travellers who actually undergo the process over the coming weeks, so feel free to share your experience with us in the comments below.