COVID-19: Planning for Travel

The COVID-19 situation around the world is constantly shifting. As such, it will be important for you to think through the COVID-19 situation at your destination, as well as some contingency plans in case of a COVID-19 related incident. Here are some things to consider when preparing to travel during COVID-19:

COVID-19 at your destination:

  • What is the COVID-19 situation in your destination? What plans do local health authorities have to help reduce risk around COVID-19?
  • How does your host site (i.e. research site/facility, institution, company, conference) manage risk around COVID-19? Do they have a clear plan in case of a COVID-19 outbreak during the time you are there?
  • Are there any COVID-19 related travel restrictions or requirements for your destination (i.e. testing and/or quarantine requirements)?

Your emergency plan:

  • What types of resources will you be able to access should you be impacted by COVID-19 while abroad?
  • Are you prepared logistically (i.e. accommodations for self-isolation) and financially (i.e. coverage for medical expenses or extension of rent) should you need to shelter-in-place or quarantine yourself in case of a COVID-19 outbreak in your destination?
  • Will your travel insurance cover the cost of delayed flights, accommodation/hotel for quarantine, and all medical expenses should you be impacted by COVID-19 while you are traveling?
  • If you are an international student and you are delayed in returning to Canada because of COVID-19, will all your immigration documentation still be valid for your return to Canada?

The next tab “COVID Travel Checklist,” has important information and resources that can help you as you think through each of the questions above.

Read through each of the sections below as a checklist for things that are important for you to do prior to travel.

COVID-19 Situation at your Planned Destination

With the COVID-19 situation constantly changing around the world, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 situation at the destination of your activity. You can check out this page by CDC which includes a map of the risk assessment for COVID-19 for various countries around the world*. If you do not feel comfortable with the COVID-19 risk at your destination, consider deferring your trip or speaking to Safety Abroad and/or an advisor about what options you may have.

*Please note, these ratings are only one source of information and should be used only for reference with regards to the possible COVID-19 risk of the location.

COVID-19 Vaccines

As indicated on the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) travel advisories, GAC highly recommends that you be fully vaccinated in order to travel. If possible, plan to travel at least 14 days after vaccination.

Rapid Antigen Testing for Travel

Discovery Pharmacy (144 College Street, Rm 332) is offering COVID-19 tests for individuals and can supply a certificate for travel purposes. The Pharmacy uses Rapid Antigen Tests and can provide a formal pharmacist-signed document. The cost is $40 per test, and the process takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Appointments are highly recommended to make sure a pharmacist is available. Take-home Rapid Antigen Tests are also available by appointment. 

For more information, and to book an appointment, visit the Discovery Pharmacy Website. You can also reach the Discovery Pharmacy via email at discovery.pharmacy@utoronto.ca.

COVID-19 Trip Planner through International SOS

The university has a partnership with International SOS and they have a tool which can help you plan for your travel during COVID. The Trip Planner, available via the International SOS Assistance app will help you with determining things like: entry requirements, travel restrictions, feasibility for travel, required COVID related documents, etc.

*Please note, while International SOS strives to keep the information update, sudden changes may occur.

COVID-19 Learning Modules

Before you leave, learn more about what COVID-19 is, how to recognize its signs and symptoms, what options for testing and treatment are available, what you can do to protect yourself, and other important information that will help you keep well while traveling.

Watch these two short videos created by International SOS: “Coronavirus Awareness” and “Pandemic Planning – Return to Travel.” To access the videos, visit the International SOS Training Hub, create a login, and search for the videos by keywords from the title of each video.

Travel Health Insurance for COVID-19

As per U of T’s Safety Abroad policy, all students traveling on university activity are required to have sufficient travel health insurance (OHIP/UHIP is not sufficient). It is important that you connect with your travel health insurance provider directly to learn more about your coverage for COVID-19 related incidents. Not all insurance providers will cover COVID-19. For UTSU/UTGSU coverage, please visit the Student Care page for U of T.

While many travel health insurance providers do have some coverage for COVID-19 now, if your travel health insurance does not have coverage for COVID-19, consider either purchasing additional coverage, or looking into what your destination might offer. Some local governments have resources in place to support COVID-19 related incidents for their residents and visitors.

Learn more about travel health insurance on the Safety Abroad Health and Wellness Resource page.

COVID-19 Entry Requirements for your Destination

One important thing to be aware of prior to travel is the entry restrictions or requirements of your destination. Many destinations around the world have implemented various COVID-19 requirements for their visitors such as screening, testing, and proof of vaccination and/or quarantine requirements. Research and prepare for this well ahead of time as some of these requirements may take some time to arrange. Also, keep in mind that as the COVID-19 situation evolves around the world, these restrictions or requirements may change as well so it is important to stay up-to-date on this all the way up until the day of your travel.

In addition to the GAC Travel Advisories which include Entry/Exit Requirements per country, students can also check out International SOS’s Travel Restrictions page which includes up-to-date information on flight and travel restrictions, screenings, and entry requirements for each country. (You will need U of T’s membership # to access the site: 27ACAS808982.)

Things to Consider

The COVID-19 situation around the world is constantly shifting. As such, it will be important for you to think through the COVID-19 situation at your destination, as well as some contingency plans in case of a COVID-19 related incident. Here are some things to consider when preparing to travel during COVID-19:

COVID-19 at your destination:

  • What is the COVID-19 situation in your destination? What plans do local health authorities have to help reduce risk around COVID-19?
  • How does your host site (i.e. research site/facility, institution, company, conference) manage risk around COVID-19? Do they have a clear plan in case of a COVID-19 outbreak during the time you are there?
  • Are there any COVID-19 related travel restrictions or requirements for your destination (i.e. testing and/or quarantine requirements)?

Your emergency plan:

  • What types of resources will you be able to access should you be impacted by COVID-19 while abroad?
  • Are you prepared logistically (i.e. accommodations for self-isolation) and financially (i.e. coverage for medical expenses or extension of rent) should you need to shelter-in-place or quarantine yourself in case of a COVID-19 outbreak in your destination?
  • Will your travel insurance cover the cost of delayed flights, accommodation/hotel for quarantine, and all medical expenses should you be impacted by COVID-19 while you are traveling?
  • If you are an international student and you are delayed in returning to Canada because of COVID-19, will all your immigration documentation still be valid for your return to Canada?

The next tab “COVID Travel Checklist,” has important information and resources that can help you as you think through each of the questions above.

COVID Travel Checklist

Read through each of the sections below as a checklist for things that are important for you to do prior to travel.

COVID-19 Situation at your Planned Destination

With the COVID-19 situation constantly changing around the world, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 situation at the destination of your activity. You can check out this page by CDC which includes a map of the risk assessment for COVID-19 for various countries around the world*. If you do not feel comfortable with the COVID-19 risk at your destination, consider deferring your trip or speaking to Safety Abroad and/or an advisor about what options you may have.

*Please note, these ratings are only one source of information and should be used only for reference with regards to the possible COVID-19 risk of the location.

COVID-19 Vaccines

As indicated on the Global Affairs Canada (GAC) travel advisories, GAC highly recommends that you be fully vaccinated in order to travel. If possible, plan to travel at least 14 days after vaccination.

Rapid Antigen Testing for Travel

Discovery Pharmacy (144 College Street, Rm 332) is offering COVID-19 tests for individuals and can supply a certificate for travel purposes. The Pharmacy uses Rapid Antigen Tests and can provide a formal pharmacist-signed document. The cost is $40 per test, and the process takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Appointments are highly recommended to make sure a pharmacist is available. Take-home Rapid Antigen Tests are also available by appointment. 

For more information, and to book an appointment, visit the Discovery Pharmacy Website. You can also reach the Discovery Pharmacy via email at discovery.pharmacy@utoronto.ca.

COVID-19 Trip Planner through International SOS

The university has a partnership with International SOS and they have a tool which can help you plan for your travel during COVID. The Trip Planner, available via the International SOS Assistance app will help you with determining things like: entry requirements, travel restrictions, feasibility for travel, required COVID related documents, etc.

*Please note, while International SOS strives to keep the information update, sudden changes may occur.

COVID-19 Learning Modules

Before you leave, learn more about what COVID-19 is, how to recognize its signs and symptoms, what options for testing and treatment are available, what you can do to protect yourself, and other important information that will help you keep well while traveling.

Watch these two short videos created by International SOS: “Coronavirus Awareness” and “Pandemic Planning – Return to Travel.” To access the videos, visit the International SOS Training Hub, create a login, and search for the videos by keywords from the title of each video.

Travel Health Insurance for COVID-19

As per U of T’s Safety Abroad policy, all students traveling on university activity are required to have sufficient travel health insurance (OHIP/UHIP is not sufficient). It is important that you connect with your travel health insurance provider directly to learn more about your coverage for COVID-19 related incidents. Not all insurance providers will cover COVID-19. For UTSU/UTGSU coverage, please visit the Student Care page for U of T.

While many travel health insurance providers do have some coverage for COVID-19 now, if your travel health insurance does not have coverage for COVID-19, consider either purchasing additional coverage, or looking into what your destination might offer. Some local governments have resources in place to support COVID-19 related incidents for their residents and visitors.

Learn more about travel health insurance on the Safety Abroad Health and Wellness Resource page.

COVID-19 Entry Requirements for your Destination

One important thing to be aware of prior to travel is the entry restrictions or requirements of your destination. Many destinations around the world have implemented various COVID-19 requirements for their visitors such as screening, testing, and proof of vaccination and/or quarantine requirements. Research and prepare for this well ahead of time as some of these requirements may take some time to arrange. Also, keep in mind that as the COVID-19 situation evolves around the world, these restrictions or requirements may change as well so it is important to stay up-to-date on this all the way up until the day of your travel.

In addition to the GAC Travel Advisories which include Entry/Exit Requirements per country, students can also check out International SOS’s Travel Restrictions page which includes up-to-date information on flight and travel restrictions, screenings, and entry requirements for each country. (You will need U of T’s membership # to access the site: 27ACAS808982.)