OTTAWA -- Starting at midnight, the federal government says all people returning to Canada will have to check in to a hotel or other designated site unless they have an acceptable self-quarantine plan.

The government says returnees - whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or not - must have an appropriate isolation plan that includes access to food and medicine.

They will also be forbidden to live with vulnerable people, such as anyone older than 65 or with pre-existing health conditions.

If a returnee lacks a credible plan, they will need to quarantine in a location, such as a hotel, designated by Canada's chief public health officer.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the measure means returning Canadians will need to plan ahead of time.

She describes it as “an additional layer” in Canada's protective actions against COVID-19.