A pair of passengers trying to enter Canada from the U.S. are paying a steep price after authorities say they falsified information about their vaccination status and their required test results.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said the travelers were hit with four fines for non-compliance with entry requirements that total nearly $40,000 — $19,720 for each traveler. They arrived in Toronto the week of July 18. Authorities say they provided false information on their proof of vaccination papers as well as with pre-departure tests. In addition, they ignored mandates to stay at a government-authorized hotel for the required quarantine period and ignored on-arrival testing requirements.
A statement from the Public Health Agency said this about the fines:
“The Government of Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted to protect the health of Canadians from the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants of concern.”
Anyone who ignores quarantine instructions when entering Canada faces fines of up to $5,000 for each day the order is not followed. The two travelers may have dodged an even costlier bullet, because dodging quarantine mandates could have led to a fine as high as $750,000 and even a six-month prison term.
Canada’s strict entry requirements since the start of the pandemic have only recently begun to be eased. As of last month Canadian citizens, permanent residents and people registered under the Indian Act and protected persons can enter the country, but they must show a negative coronavirus test result.
Most travelers must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, although those who are fully vaccinated and can show proper proof, can skip it. Dual Canadian citizens can enter with a valid passport or special authorization.
Canada will reopen its border to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents on August 9. All travelers must meet pre-entry coronavirus testing requirements and submit a quarantine plan to enter.
However, travel from Canada into the U.S. will remain restricted for at least several more weeks. The U.S. just extended the closure of its Canadian borders until at least Aug. 21.