Preparedness Plan for International Students in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The plan presents the measures put in place at the Université de Sherbrooke to welcome students from abroad. It meets all of Canada's public-health requirements. Moreover, it complements the University's emergency protocol for dealing with the pandemic.

Preparedness Plan for International Students in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)

Before arriving

The University corresponds with all international students—both those already registered and those new to the upcoming semester—to inform them of the steps to be taken if coming to Sherbrooke or returning home, as the case may be. The following information is always available on the University’s website:

  • A Quarantine Plan, developed by the University and taking into account all Government of Canada quarantine requirements (see Appendix A), to guide the student in preparing for quarantine
  • Links to the Government of Canada's quarantine requirements and helping tools, including the requirement to register to ArriveCAN for the information required for students to enter Canada and provide daily updates on their status during quarantine
  • In addition, a pre-arrival guide (Appendix C) provides students with options in Sherbrooke and Longueuil:

    • Transportation, from the airport to the quarantine site, including the instructions to be followed during transportation
    • Adequate quarantine housing that complies with public-health guidelines, both on and off campus
    • Delivery of prepared meals or groceries
    • Delivery of basic necessities (medicine, personal-hygiene products, etc.)

Students must also use the declaration form from the University to warn, prior to their arrival, that they are arriving from abroad and are quarantining themselves.

New requirements for travelers coming to Canada, effective November 21, 2020.

Use ArriveCan, online or through the app to provide mandatory travel information required for entry into Canada

  1. Travel and contact information, as well as an electronic version of your quarantine plan, prior to your trip (a receipt will be provided through ArriveCAN)
  2. Confirmation of your arrival at the quarantine place within 48 hours
  3. Daily self-assessment of COVID-19 symptoms during the isolation period. Plan to have a thermometer with you to take your temperature and report on your health each day on ArriveCAN.

More details about new mandatory requirements for travellers to Canada on IRCC website

Please note that it is imperative to find out by yourself about entry requirements into Canada as they may change between now and the time of your departure, depending on the evolution of the health situation in Canada and / or at your departure point.

Housing Options: Quarantine Period

In response to pandemic-related needs, the University’s housing department has set aside 118 single rooms in four residences dedicated solely for student quarantine. These rooms, available to all Sherbrooke students, meet all public-health quarantine requirements.

Instructions and measures have been put in place to protect everyone's health and limit the spread of the virus. Any quarantined person must comply with these instructions. Visitors are prohibited from entering these residences.

When the quarantine takes place in a University residence, the housing department will contact the student before his or her arrival.

Each resident must complete the "Les essentiels de ma vie en résidences" training (Université de Sherbrooke or Estudiantine, as the case may be) before his or her arrival. A section is devoted to the sociosanitary rules and measures in effect in the residences.

In addition, the housing department contacts students prior to their arrival asking them to buy the following:

  • a thermometer
  • a face covering
  • cloths for disinfecting surfaces using the cleaning product provided by the residences once a month

These items may be provided to students upon arrival as required, at their expense.

Appendix C presents the quarantine rules for University residences.

When the quarantine takes place in off-campus housing, the University reminds people of the health measures to follow. A thermometer, face covering, and disinfecting cloths can be provided, if required. The arrival protocol presented in the following section is used to monitor compliance with quarantine instructions.

In addition, a temporary room will be assigned to any person who is symptomatic, requires preventive isolation (arriving from outside of Canada), has had close contact with a positive person, or has received a positive diagnosis.

Upon Arrival

Once students arrive at the quarantine site, the University will match them with a mentor who will accompany them throughout the quarantine period. Mentors have the following tasks:

  • Regularly remind their charges of the quarantine rules and ensure they comply with the instructions.
  • Ensure their charges are able to feed themselves and obtain the basic necessities. 
  • Maintain regular contact with their charges to attenuate their feelings of isolation and impacts on mental health.
  • Encourage their charges to make daily voluntary declarations with the ArriveCAN app and the University's declaration form if symptoms appear.

If they have not already done so, students must complete the declaration form in order to avoid being placed in isolation for 14 days.

Mentors must stay in daily contact with their charges during the quarantine period. They must see to the general well-being of students, remind them of the importance of screening for symptoms, and guide them to appropriate resources. Indeed, upon arrival and for the duration of their education, international students have access to orientation and psychological-support services, financial-aid funds, and a sponsorship service to accompany them in their social integration. 

An emergency assistance fund is available to enable students to obtain the necessary resources to feed themselves and to obtain items needed to fight against COVID-19 infection.

Students can also be loaded telephones to maintain contact at any time.

Measures are in place to ensure quarantine compliance for students taking online courses during their quarantine without them being academically penalized. 


The University has implemented the following screening measures:

  • The University has set up a screening centre for COVID-19 on its main campus. This service is available to all students and staff on campus. The University's screening centre is open every day of the week and is available by appointment. A complementary screening service is available in the evenings and on weekends in the region's screening centres managed by the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS. Students opting for this screening alternative must wear a mask or face covering to take public transit and comply with the other health rules in place.
  • The University's website has a detailed section on COVID-19 symptoms, the screening criteria, and screening centre functioning.

Upon Arrival in Canada

  • When international students reach day 12 of their quarantine, international students have to book their own appointment for screening test. From now until December 22, 2020, and starting January 5, 2021, call 819-821-7667, option 9, between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., from Monday to Friday. Make sure to have university registration number on hand. (If students plan to arrive between December 23, 2020 and January 4, 2021, the University will let know how to proceed shortly).
  • A follow-up of all international students is conducted to validate that each student has been screened.

End of the Quarantine

While the quarantine is 14 days in length, it cannot be ended until the student tests negative for COVID-19. Students must remain under quarantine until the results come back, even if that takes more than the 14 days of quarantine.

Mentors stay in touch with the students and ensure their smooth integration into their academic activities and social life. 

During the Semester

  • Students who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the semester must do the following:
  • Report the symptoms to the University via an electronic form and then obtain specific isolation instructions.
  • Be isolated in one of the single rooms provided in University residences or in their off-campus housing if the latter meets the requirements issued by Public Health.
  • Make an appointment at the screening centre to get tested.
  • Public Health will make recommendations to students based on the results of their screening tests.
  • In case of close contact with a positive case or as recommended by Public Health, students must also be tested and then follow Public Health recommendations.

Mandatory Quarantine Instructions

All persons entering Canada must have a written plan for placing themselves in quarantine for 14 days, failing which, they may be returned to their country of origin. This requirement remains in effect until at least October 31 and may be extended beyond that date.

A sample quarantine/isolation plan is provided as a courtesy at the end of the instructions. Please note that you may still be refused entry into Canada due to the discretionary power of the Canada Border Services Officer. Don't forget to personalize this plan and print it out so you have it on hand when you need it.

During Your Quarantine

  • You must wear a face covering when you arrive in Canada and when you travel.
  • You should not take public transit from the airport to your quarantine location, and you should not stop anywhere en route.
  • You must find housing for the duration of your quarantine before you travel to Canada. The rental period should be longer than the 14-day quarantine period. If you develop symptoms during the quarantine period, you will need to extend your quarantine for an additional 14 days from the date of onset of symptoms.
  • You must stay at the same location as where you are spending your quarantine.
  • You must not go to the University or any other public place.
  • You cannot go shopping (e.g., shops or grocery stores).
  • You must arrange for someone to equip your quarantine site with essential items (such as food, medicine, household products, personal hygiene items, furniture, etc.), as you will not be able to go shopping when you arrive. See the attached list for ideas about businesses that deliver food and pharmaceuticals and for catering services.
  • You must not receive visitors.
  • You must practise hygienic behaviour:
  • You should monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19. If symptoms appear, you should isolate yourself and immediately call Public Health (1-877-644-4545) and follow their instructions.

For more details on travel instructions and mandatory quarantine conditions:

Government of Canada
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice
Gouvernement du Québec
Instructions for travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic