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Ottawa lays out criteria for quarantine hotels as it inches toward new travel rule

Last Updated Feb 8, 2021 at 12:11 pm PDT

The airport hotel is shown as people walk outside with their luggage at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. The Canadian government might make it mandatory that all international travellers arriving in Canada must quarantine at the airport isolation hotel while waiting for the COVID-19 test results. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Public Health Agency of Canada releases criteria for hotels that want to participate in three-day quarantine process

To qualify as "listed hotel," lodgings must be near one of four airports accepting international flights

Contactless meal delivery, free WiFi, process for outdoor breaks, among criteria needed for hotels to qualify

OTTAWA — The Public Health Agency of Canada has listed its criteria for hotels seeking to participate in the mandatory three-day quarantine for returning travellers.

The conditions posted online put the government one step closer to fulfilling its late-January pledge that all passengers returning from non-essential trips abroad will have to self-isolate in a federally mandated facility for up to 72 hours at their own expense.

The government has not said when the measure, which aims to head off COVID-19 cases and contagious variants of the novel coronavirus at the border, will come into effect.

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To qualify as a “listed hotel,” lodgings must be near one of the four airports currently accepting international flights — in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

They must also provide contactless meal delivery to rooms and free wireless internet access, set up a process for brief outdoor breaks and report daily check-in and checkout numbers as well as non-compliant guests to the public health agency.

Hotel submissions are due on Wednesday, three days after the criteria appear to have been posted online.

In addition to the rules that will require international travellers to quarantine at a hotel for up to three days, Canada also recently announced the country’s major airlines agreed to suspend service to some sun destinations, temporarily.

“Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, and Air Transat are cancelling air service to all Caribbean destinations and Mexico starting this Sunday up until April 30th,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Jan. 29.

Meanwhile, all non-essential travellers will also have to show proof of a negative PCR test at the Canada-U.S. land border.