COVID-19: How to quarantine or isolate at home

Quarantine or isolation can reduce the spread of COVID-19, including its variants, in your household and community. That's why it's important to follow the advice of your local public health authority about when and how to quarantine or isolate.

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Travel

If you've travelled outside of Canada recently, advice for your quarantine or isolation period may be different. Consult the latest travel restrictions, exemptions and advice.

Quarantine instructions

You can transmit COVID-19 before you start showing symptoms or without ever developing symptoms.

You may need to quarantine if you:

There may be different quarantine requirements if you or any of your other household members are vaccinated against COVID-19. Follow the instructions from your local public health authority.

If you've been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for your results, you must quarantine until:

Quarantine means that you must:

If you're in quarantine and start to develop symptoms, you must:

Learn more about:

Isolation instructions

You need to isolate in your home or co-living setting if any of the following apply to you:

Isolation means that you must:

If you're isolating at home, your household members may need to quarantine after their last exposure to you. Your local public health authority will determine their length of quarantine based on a variety of factors, including:

Learn more about:

Wearing a mask

Quarantine

If you're in quarantine and do not live with the person who exposed you to COVID-19, wear a well-constructed and well-fitting non-medical mask when:

  • alone or with others in shared indoor spaces, like:
    • hallways
    • the kitchen
    • washrooms
  • your household members are with you in a private outdoor space, like:
    • a balcony
    • the backyard
  • you need care (either direct physical care or close-range interactions)
    • your caregiver should also wear a non-medical mask

What to do if you're in quarantine and start to develop severe symptoms.

Learn more about:

Isolation

If you're in isolation, wear a medical mask when:

  • alone or with others in shared indoor spaces, like:
    • hallways
    • the kitchen
    • washrooms
  • your household members are with you in a private outdoor space, like:
    • a balcony
    • the backyard
  • you need care (either direct physical care or close-range interactions)
    • your caregiver should also wear a medical mask

If you must share a space with your household members, they should wear a well-constructed and well-fitting non-medical mask or medical mask.

Household members may be at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19. These members should wear a medical mask when sharing an indoor or outdoor space with you. If a medical mask is recommended but not available, wear a well-constructed and well-fitting non-medical mask.

Learn more about:

Children

Children under the age of 2 years should not wear masks. Children 2 to 5 years old may be able to wear a mask if they:

  • are supervised
  • can tolerate it
  • know how to put it on and take it off

Children older than 5 years should wear a mask in the same situations or settings as adults.

Actions to follow

If you're in quarantine or isolation, you should:

You can also:

Actions to avoid

If you're in quarantine or isolation, do not:

You should also avoid:

Avoid activities that require being physically close to other household members, such as:

Do not share personal items, such as:

If you're staying in a hotel for your quarantine or isolation, avoid shared public spaces, such as:

If you develop severe symptoms

Call 911 or your local emergency number if you develop severe symptoms, such as:

If you call an ambulance, tell the dispatcher that you have or may have COVID-19.

If you take a private vehicle to the hospital, call ahead to let them know that that you have or may have COVID-19. If possible, only one healthy person should drive you.

While in the vehicle, follow personal preventive practices and:

Do not use public transportation to seek medical care unless you have no choice.

Learn more about:

Group or co-living settings

Avoid quarantine or isolation at home if you can't separate yourself from others, such as if you:

It may also be difficult to quarantine or isolate if you:

Your local public health authority may advise you to quarantine or isolate somewhere you won't have to share:

Follow this advice by renting a hotel room or similar space, if you can.

If you can't avoid close interactions with others, and you or your household members can't relocate, you should use a separate:

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