Passengers’ Frustrated with Canada’s Hotel Quarantine Program

Passengers’ Frustrated with Canada’s Hotel Quarantine Program

Flights on Canadian airlines to sun destinations have been suspended until April 30, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau imploring Canadians to postpone any vacation plans.

Canada’s hotel quarantine measure for international arrivals took effect on February 22, 2021 and travellers have been scrambling to secure these mandatory accommodations.

Under this new program, travellers must show proof of a three-day hotel booking before boarding a flight to Canada. Passengers entering Canada by air are required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Canada, at the airport, and wait for their results in a government-approved hotel, which must be booked in advance at their own expense.

Prices for the non-refundable hotel stay range from roughly $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the hotel for three days, or until they receive a negative test result.

Canada's Hotel Quarantine Program for Entry to Canada

On February 19, 2021 the federal government released an initial list of 11 approved hotels for quarantine in the four Canadian cities that are currently accepting international flights: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal

That list has since been updated. Vancouver now has 11 approved hotels, Calgary has 5, Ontario has 13 and Quebec has 13.

How to Book Your Hotel:

A few of the hotels may offer online booking for government-authorized accommodation (at the time of publication, Vancouver has 2, and Calgary has 1).
For all other hotels, phone and mention that you require accommodation for the COVID-19 mandatory 3-night stopover to ensure you are booked correctly.

Booking PHONE line

You can also reserve and pay for your mandatory 3-night hotel stopover:

  • 1-800-294-8253 (toll-free within North America)
  • 1-613-830-2992 (collect outside of North America)

Regular hours of operation: 8 am to 11 pm ET, 7 days a week. Calls received after-hours will be limited to emergencies.
Passengers are also now being instructed to only call if their flight to Canada is within the next 48 hours.

Below is the information required to reserve your mandatory hotel room when you arrive in Canada:

  • Traveller name(s)
  • Date(s) of birth
  • Gender
  • Arrival city and date
  • Payment information
  • Special requests and accessibility concerns
  • Pet information
  • Email address

Canada's Hotel Quarantine Program for Entry to Canada

Canada’s Hotel Quarantine Program System Flawed with Issues

The phone line received 20,000 calls the first day it was introduced (Feb 19, 2021), with 1,492 rooms booked for February alone. However, it appears that the system has not been set up to accommodate for the demand it has been receiving.

Travellers have expressed frustration because of the long wait times, with some people having reported waiting three to six hours to get through.

Several travellers have reported that their calls were disconnected after three hours of waiting, forcing them to call back and start over from scratch. There have also been some travellers saying they weren’t able to get through on the phone lines at all!

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the average wait time to reach an agent is two hours, down from the first couple days of the program. They state that once a call is answered, it takes on average 20 minutes to make a booking.

Other Links to Check Out:

More Booking Information and List of Government-Authorized Hotels

The Government of Canada’s Flying into Canada Checklist
Canada's Hotel Quarantine Program for Entry to Canada

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