Canada increases fine for travellers who skip hotel quarantine

Jun 3 2021, 8:48 am

Canada has nearly doubled its fine for travellers who skip the mandatory hotel quarantine.

According to the Government of Canada website, international arrivals who fail to spend their first three days at a government-approved quarantine hotel will face a fine of $5000 starting on June 4.

Previously, the fine was $3,000.

The increase comes after some individuals chose to receive a ticket instead of completing the three-day isolation period at a designated hotel.

All international travellers arriving in Canada by plane must spend their first 72 hours in a hotel while waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test administered at the airport. If a traveller tests negative, they may complete the rest of their 14-day quarantine at home.

But the rules are different for people crossing the border by land. Those who fly to the US and either drive or walk over the border can skip the hotel portion of quarantine and do their entire isolation at home. The requirements for a pre-crossing test and two tests during the quarantine period remain in place.

The double standard has been criticized by public health experts and Ontario Premier Doug Ford. On May 28, the COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel recommended the federal government scrap the quarantine hotels altogether.

Instead, the panel recommended travellers submit their own quarantine plans and only stay at a hotel if they don’t have a suitable place of their own to self-isolate.

“As much as possible, land and air border measures should be consistent,” the panel wrote in its report.

It also recommended the government specify quarantine measures by traveller vaccination status rather than port of entry. The report suggested travellers who can provide acceptable proof of completing a two-dose regime should be able to cross the border with only one PCR test on arrival.

Right now, all travellers must quarantine for two weeks when they enter Canada regardless of vaccination status.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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