BY ALEX GREGORY
Several travellers arriving at Pearson Airport have been fined $880 after refusing to follow provincial directives regarding quarantining at a hotel for three days.
The wave of fines, revealed by Peel Police Wednesday evening, comes on the back of new regulations that require international travellers arriving at Pearson to quarantine at a hotel for three days at their own expense. According to a statement by the force, most travellers who were involved in a dispute over quarantining resolved the situation after a discussion with others, while others were fined for refusing to follow the rules.
Despite this, police said that travellers would not be detained if they broke a quarantine rule — unless it involved a criminal offence, citing that the Public Health Agency of Canada held jurisdiction over any fines related to federal quarantine procedures. Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Region’s medical officer of health, said that the fines were “unfortunate” during a press conference in Brampton, while Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown referred to those choosing to ignore restrictions as “selfish.”
In a statement Wednesday, the Public Health Agency of Canada said that travellers are legally obligated to follow the instructions of screening or quarantine officers at airports through the 14-day mandatory self-isolation period and can face fines or imprisonment for failing to follow instructions.
Currently, travellers entering the country must isolate for three days at a government approved hotel at their own expense, though according to some reports, rates at certain hotels are far less than the apparent cost — of up to $2,000 — that travellers would have to pay for the three-night period.