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Travelled Recently? Here’s What You Need To Know

How To Self Isolate After Travel When You Live With Others 

Always follow the advice given to you by your health care provider and the local public health team. If you have questions or begin to feel worse, contact your health care provider, dial 8-1-1 to speak to a nurse (available 24/7), or contact your local public health unit. For the most up to date information about COVID-19 in BC, please visit

If you have travelled outside of Canada, you will be asked to self-isolate upon your return. Mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation is required by anyone entering Canada:

Self-isolation means staying at home (or another similar place) where you can avoid contact with people. This period lasts 14 days, as that is how long it can take for someone to develop symptoms after a possible exposure. It is important to continue to self-isolate for this full-period even if you do not show symptoms.

 Note: There may be some extenuating circumstances under which essential workers may not be required to isolate for the full 14-day period.

 Self-isolate for 14 days

  • DO NOT leave your place of isolation. While you cannot go into work, it may be possible to work from home as long as your employer has arranged for this option. Avoid public spaces (i.e. places of worship, grocery stores, malls, restaurants, schools) and public transportation, taxis or rideshares. Cancel all non-essential appointments.
  • DO NOT come into close contact with others. If you live with other people (who are not required to self-isolate), consider whether they can stay somewhere else temporarily. If this is not possible, isolate in a separate room away from them. Use a separate bathroom (if this is not possible, make sure the shared bathroom is cleaned and disinfected regularly, and always flush the toilet with the lid down). Have meals dropped off at your door. Ensure good airflow (e.g. open windows or doors to allow air to circulate) in any common areas.
  • DO NOT have any contact with vulnerable people. Be especially careful not to avoid contact with seniors, those with weak immune systems and those with a chronic health condition (i.e. diabetes, lung problems, heart disease). If you need to be in the same space, make sure to keep 2 meters (6 feet) of space between you and them.
  • DO NOT have visitors. Food, medication and/or other supplies can be dropped off outside the home (or your door) by friends, family or delivery people. Stay in touch with others through technology.
  • DO stay in touch virtually. Maintain social connections by reaching out to family and friends through phone or video chats.
  • DO get fresh air and exercise. You are allowed to go outdoors to get fresh air or to exercise. Ideally, do this in a private space such as a yard or balcony. Make sure to keep a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) from others at all times.

Monitor yourself for symptoms

  • DO check to see if you develop symptoms. Monitor yourself for any of the symptoms of COVID-19: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, loss of smell/taste, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches
  • DO seek medical attention if you develop symptoms. Dial 8-1-1 to speak to a nurse (available 24/7) to report that you have developed symptoms after travel. If you have trouble breathing, dial 9-1-1 and tell any first responders that you may have COVID-19.
  • DO use Scout the COVID-19 Assistant that can help you identify your risks for COVID-19 and readiness to go to work:

Continue to protect yourself and others in your home

  • DO wash your hands often. Use soap and water to wash your hands for 20 seconds. If this is not an option, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, has a Natural Product Number (NPN) or Drug Identification Number (DIN), or is otherwise approved by Health Canada.
  • DO keep a physical distance. Keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from others and wear a mask should you need to be in the presence of anyone in your household during this self-isolation period.
  • DO wear a mask. Use a mask if you ever need to be within 2 meters (6 feet) of others.
  • DO cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue or your elbow (or upper sleeve) to cover coughs and sneezes; do not use your hands. Immediately throw any used tissue into a lined trashcan, and wash your hands thoroughly.
  • DO seek medical attention if you need it. If you need non-urgent medical attention for another reason, call ahead to let the facility know that you are self-isolating after travel. Wear a medical/surgical mask if this requires you to leave home.
  • DO NOT cook for others in the household. While you are self-isolating, do not prepare food for others as you could risk spreading the virus (if you carry it and do not yet show symptoms).
  • DO NOT have multiple caregivers for those who are sick in the home. In order to prevent unnecessary exposure, have 1 person provide care for anyone who is sick in the household. Ideally, the caregiver should not be someone who is pregnant or who has a pre-existing condition that makes them high risk (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, lung disease). 

Clean & disinfect often

  • DO clean and disinfect surfaces. Clean hard surfaces to remove dirt or grime, and then follow with a step to disinfect. High-touch surfaces (i.e. doorknobs, switches, remotes, countertops, bathroom surfaces) should be disinfected twice a day. Use a disinfectant or a freshly prepared bleach solution (i.e. 20 ml bleach per 1L of water). Leave surfaces wet for 1 minute.
  • DO disinfect electronics. Unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer, disinfect high touch-electronics with 70% alcohol.
  • DO wash clothing/bedding regularly. Wash any possibly contaminated clothing, towels and bedding with regular laundry in hot water and laundry detergent. Dry well.
  • DO NOT share personal items. Avoid sharing items such as towels, unwashed utensils and cups, thermometers, cigarettes, or electronic devices that could potentially spread the virus. 
 You can end self-isolation if 14 days have passed since exposure, and you have not developed symptoms of COVID-19. 

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