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

Last Update : February 17, 2021

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)

Please note that it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with all of the following instructions and to find out for yourself about the 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. 

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. In addition, international students who inform us of their arrival date by email at are matched with a student from the Université de Sherbrooke who can help them prepare and support them during their quarantine.

The following information is always available on the University’s website:

  • Instructions and Quarantine Plan (Appendix A), developed by the University and taking into account all Government of Canada quarantine requirements, to guide the student in preparing for quarantine;
  • Pre-arrival guide (Appendix B) provides students with options in Sherbrooke and Longueuil for transportation, adequate quarantine housing that complies with public-health guidelines, both on and off campus, delivery of prepared meals, groceries and basic necessities (medicine, personal-hygiene products, etc.);
  • Quarantine Rules for Residences (Appendix C), for those who will spend their isolation period at the Université de Sherbrooke residences;
  • Traveller’s Checklist (Appendix D), summarizing what to do and what to have on hand before leaving for Canada, upon arrival and during the period of isolation;
  • 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.

Travellers 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.

Testing and quarantine requirements for travel to Canada

Entering Canada by air during COVID-19
Travellers entering Canada must follow the rules set out by the Emergency Orders under the Quarantine Act to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

All travellers arriving to Canada by land, as of February 15, 2021, with some exceptions, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours of pre-arrival, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival. In addition, as of February 22, 2021, travellers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival as well as toward the end of their 14-day quarantine.

All travellers arriving to Canada by air, as of February 22, 2021, with some exceptions, will be required to take a COVID-19 molecular test when they arrive in Canada before exiting the airport, and another toward the end of their 14-day quarantine period. With limited exceptions, air travellers, will also be required to reserve, prior to departure to Canada, a 3-night stay in a government-authorized hotel. Travellers will be able to book their government-authorized stay starting February 18, 2021. These new measures are in addition to existing mandatory pre-boarding and health requirements for air travellers, including to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada.

Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveler’s scheduled departure to Canada.

Finally, at the same time on February 22, 2021, all travellers, whether arriving by land or air will be required to submit their travel and contact information, including a suitable quarantine plan, electronically via ArriveCAN before crossing the border or boarding a flight.

See the website of Government of Canada for more details about the rules for :

·       Entering Canada by air during COVID-19

·       Entering Canada by land during COVID-19


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

Upon arrival at the quarantine site, and even before, the Université de Sherbrooke encourages students to contact his or her mentor, who will follow the student 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 borrow a mobile phones 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. 

End of the Quarantine and Health status validation

New directive : Towards the end of your quarantine (approximately on day 12), the nursing staff at the Screening Centre or the COVID-19 Assistance Centre of the Université de Sherbrooke will contact you to validate if you developed any symptoms during your quarantine. If you have any questions, please contact the COVID-19 Assistance Centre of the Université de Sherbrooke.

Telephone: 819 821-7394 or email:

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