COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus)

Who should self-isolate at home?

1. All travellers returning to Canada

On March 25, the Government of Canada enacted emergency measures that require mandatory 14-day self-isolation for all persons entering Canada, even if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms and even if they obtain a negative COVID-19 test result. Some provinces and territories may have specific recommendations for certain groups, such as health-care workers and for workers who are essential to the movement of goods and people.

Mandatory self-isolation means you must:

  • Go directly to the place where you will isolate, without delay, and stay there for 14 days. Monitor yourself for symptoms.
  • Go to your place of isolation using private transportation only, such as your personal vehicle.
  • Stay at home (do not leave your property).
  • Not leave your place of isolation unless it’s to seek medical attention.
  • Do not go to school, work, other public areas or use public transportation (e.g. buses, taxis).
  • Stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom from others in your home, if possible.
  • Not have visitors and limit contact with others in the place of isolation, including children.
  • Not isolate in a place where you will have contact with vulnerable people such as older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions.

For more details, see Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel advice from the Government of Canada.

2. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms

(Updated guidance from the Ontario Ministry of Health on March 25, 2020)

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate at home and avoid contact with other people for 14 days following the start of symptoms. After 14 days, self-isolation may end so long as there is no fever and symptoms are improving.

Symptoms range from mild (common respiratory infections) to severe. The most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing (e.g. struggling for each breath, cannot hold breath for more than 10 seconds)

Anyone with severe respiratory illness, or a medical emergency should call 911 immediately. Advise them of your symptoms and any travel history.

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.

3. Close contacts of a person diagnosed with COVID-19

Close contacts of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will be contacted by their local public health unit.

Learn more about how to self-isolate.