Transport Canada says they’ve fined two people for faking the results of their COVID-19 tests, which are required to be negative, to fly into the country.
In a statement Thursday, the transport agency said that in both cases, the two had knowingly boarded a flight to Canada from Mexico on Jan. 23 after having tested positive for COVID-19 a few days before their flight. The statement also said the two were fined $10,000 and $7,000, respectively, for “presenting a false or misleading COVID-19 test” as well as for making a “false declaration about their health status.”
The agency said that both of the travellers landed at Pierre-Elliot Trudeau Airport in Montreal, but could not provide any further details about the individuals or cases.
“Transport Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported to us and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted,” read a statement.
Last week, Peel Regional Police charged a man after he allegedly presented fake test results at Pearson Airport.
According to police, a CBSA and quarantine officer who inspected the man’s negative COVID-19 test revealed it to be “fraudulent,” and that the man had later tested positive for the virus.
Current travel restrictions for those entering Canada require travellers both to present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before boarding a flight as well as to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine after their arrival.
Plans to implement new restrictions, which were announced by the federal government in January, now include a mandatory PCR test for all incoming passengers when they land. Travellers then have to undergo quarantine at a hotel for up to three days, or for as long as it takes for their test results to come back — and could cost them more than $2,000.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that these new measures would take effect starting Feb. 22, but clarified that there would be exceptions to the new restrictions, particularly for health-care workers and truckers entering Canada.
“We’re not trying to punish people, we’re trying to keep people safe,” said Trudeau.
“These border measures will help stop the spread of COVID-19 and new variants.”
— with files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca and Rachel Gilmore