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What is a bubble? Post-secondary travel plans during during the holiday season

A special exception to the Mandatory Self-Isolation Law has been  proposed, for the holidays only, to allow returning post-secondary  students to self-isolate with their immediate household contacts, all together in a “bubble”.

If students and their families choose this, it means they can stay in one home together, but that everyone in the household will have to agree to complete the self-isolation period as a unit (“bubble” from the rest of the community). 


  • They will not need to self-isolate from one another inside of the household
  • They will not be required to wear a mask while in the home together
  • They will not be required to maintain a 2-metre (6-foot) distancing in the home
  • They will not require their own room or to use their own bathroom/sanitize a shared  bathroom after each use during the isolation period


Minimize the risk

For this to be acceptable to the community and keep risk minimal, EVERYONE in the BUBBLE,  even those who have stayed in Eeyou Istchee the whole time, must AGREE TO SELF-ISOLATE for the whole required period  from the moment the student arrives


  • Leaves the house except for essential medical needs
  • Goes to stores; your groceries will need to be delivered or purchased before the isolation period begins
  • Goes to school or the park
  • Has visitors at the house



  • Outdoor walks are permitted alone or only with other members of your bubble. Please select a moment and a place where you are less likely to encounter other community members

Family discussion

Students and their families MUST discuss this option with all family members before choosing it, to make sure that everyone understands well what the limitations will mean for them and agrees to them.

  • Anyone who would potentially be in the Bubble should be able to voice if they are comfortable choosing this option
  • Families are advised against choosing a bubble with any family members with important risk factors, such as being older than 70 years, having immune suppression, active treatment for cancer, or doing hemodialysis
  • Bubble isolation would also not be appropriate if there are family members who are essential workers (first responders, nurses, etc.) since because of their work, they could not achieve self-isolation at home with the student


The bubble could include individuals who are usually from other households; if they decide to combine to be in one household for the complete duration of the isolation need.

A student returns from Algonquin College, she will be staying with her parents and two sisters. She was able to self-isolate already for 7 days in Gatineau and has drove back home to the Eeyou Istchee. Her aunt, uncle and baby cousin who live in another house have decided they would like to be a part of the bubble with the student and her family. So they all move in to the same house for the whole duration of the second 7 days isolation occurring in the community. Although they have freedom to be with one another, none of them circulates in the community, go to workplaces or visit any other households during this time. The 8 people are all part of the bubble together, and are all isolating in the same house. They do not receive any visitor from any other households during the whole isolation period.

December 1, 2020

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