Written by: Charlene Aviles, Peak Associate
Upon arrival to Canada, the Quarantine Act mandates that international travellers isolate for 14 days, regardless of the new requirement of a negative COVID-19 test before travelling. For SFU or Fraser International College (FIC) students following these requirements, SFU is now offering several packages to support their accommodation and food needs through the CARES pilot program, which is in effect from December 7, 2020 until March 31, 2021 — with the possibility of an extension.
The CARES packages include a subsidized 14-day hotel booking at Accent Inns Burnaby and optional hot meals, meal delivery, and grocery gift cards. The accommodation-only package is $768.50, and the package with meals costs $1472.62. Both packages include a SFU CARES Kit consisting of snacks and health products. Without the student discounts, the accommodation-only package would cost $1368.50 and the accommodation and meals package would cost $2072.62.
CARES program also offers check-ins to students who have their own accommodation and meals but still desire support during self-isolation. Based on the volume of applications, priority for the packages may be limited to students who must arrive for their program or research.
In an interview with The Peak, Tracey Mason-Innes, Executive Director of Student Affairs, and Micaela Roughton, Associate Director of Community and Belonging, explained that check-ins for the program are flexible.
“The Self-Isolation Support Team is here as a starting place to help connect students [to] all other resources, information, and support they need across SFU as they prepare to travel and during self-isolation. Support is delivered over email, virtual meetings, and phone calls.”
Through the My Place at SFU portal, applicants are required to apply a minimum of 10 days before their flight. Students who will arrive in less than 10 days should email student support to expedite the application process.
According to Mason-Innes and Roughton, CARES Emergency Assistance funding applicants who require funding to secure a CARES package are considered priority. The one-time, emergency $1000 payment is for full or part-time SFU or FIC students, either graduate or undergraduate, who are CARES program applicants with higher financial needs.
Mason-Innes and Roughton noted that the program’s objective acknowledges common student concerns when travelling.
“Frequent initial questions and concerns have focused on travel regulations and documentation, self-isolation options and resources, and how to access supplies like groceries and meals. We knew these common questions and concerns would arise, and the program has been designed to support students as best we can.”