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106 tickets issued to travellers arriving at YVR and refusing to quarantine

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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says as of April 7, there have been 106 tickets issued to travellers arriving at Vancouver Airport who have not booked any government-authorized accommodation (GAA) and have subsequently refused to go to one.

The fine for refusing to go to a GAA is $3,000.

Vancouver is one of four locations in Canada where travellers must fly into and quarantine in a government-designated hotel until they get a negative COVID-19 test result.

That could take up to three days, and travellers will be on the hook for the cost of the hotel.

Through the Global Business System, PHAC says as of April 3, there were a total of 32,139 bookings made at a GAA, with 7,140 of those made in Vancouver. One booking may entail multiple guests or rooms booked but does not include any bookings made directly with a GAA hotel.

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Travel changed significantly at the beginning of the pandemic, with more people entering Canada by land than air.

Between March 21, 2020 and April 4, 2021, there was over three times the number of travellers entering by land (9,027,690) compared to those by air (2,739,132), the PHAC said in a release.

About 90 per cent of those entering by land are exempt from the requirement to quarantine due to the fact they are cross-border workers, critical infrastructure workers and hold jobs in the trade or transportation sector.

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However, about 92 per cent of travellers arriving by air are required to quarantine.

For those who refuse to quarantine or complete the quarantine period, the PHAC says maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.

Anyone who causes someone else risk or serious bodily harm due to providing false information about a quarantine plan could be liable for a fine of up to $1 million or imprisonment of up to three years, or to both.

From the implementation of the Mandatory Isolation Order on March 25, 2020 to April 7, 2021, PHAC said in a release it is aware of 630 contravention tickets issued to travellers across Canada for failing to comply with the Quarantine Act.

From Feb. 22, 2021 to April 6, 2021, PHAC said of the 175,783 travellers arriving in Canada, by air and land, 1.3 per cent or 2,282 tested positive for COVID-19. 

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