Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is open to imposing stricter penalties on those violating the mandatory quarantine period. Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford recommended strengthening restrictions at the land border but was quickly shut down by the Prime Minister.
Trudeau claims his isolation and testing rules for people entering the country, mandatory polymerase chain (PCR) reaction tests, and 14-day isolation have been working effectively. Doug Ford responded with “the new Indian variant was reported here in Ontario and it didn’t swim here… And they got in because of weak border measure”.
The federal government implemented the hotel measure back in February. As a result, air travelers returning from non-essential trips had to isolate in a designated facility for up to 72 hours or until their COVID-19 test results were available. Refusing the mandatory quarantine will lead to a hefty $3000 fine.
Some Canadians have found loopholes to avoid the hotel stay. Instead, they would fly to cities near the Canada-US border, then drive across to avoid the hotel bill. Despite the loophole, the Public Health Agency of Canada says most travelers are following the mandatory quarantine. According to Trudeau, the government will assist Ontario in formalizing a request to suspend international students from entering the province.
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