Travellers arriving at Toronto's Pearson Airport are ignoring new quarantine rules
Despite new rules being put in place for travellers arriving to Canada this week, local police are saying that several have already refused to comply with regulations that include a mandatory three-day quarantine at an approved hotel.
Reports from earlier this week suggested many travellers were struggling to even book stays in these hotels. With the three-day stays coming at the traveller's own expense, it seems many have chosen to simply ignore the supposedly mandatory rule over footing the potentially costly bill.
Police have stated that they won't be detaining individuals caught breaking the quarantine rules unless aggravating circumstances are involved. While some travelers have received fines of over $800 from the police, it's a small cost to pay compared to hotel bills that could cost over $2,000.
That being said, more severe punishments may be coming for those who are caught breaking the new law. The Government of Canada's website lists a failure to comply penalty of up to $750,000 and/or six months imprisonment for anyone breaking quarantine act obligations.
The purpose of the three-day hotel stay is to await for polymerase chain reaction test results, which all travellers must test for upon arrival into the country. Should results come in negative, the travellers would be able to spend the rest of their 14-day isolation in the comfort of their own home.
As Toronto remains in lockdown until at least March 8, many people aren't impressed with the idea of a few rule breakers potentially spreading more variants throughout the city. Canada's largest city continues to average over 350 new cases per day and with surrounding areas raising restrictions, there's concern those numbers will again rise.
In an attempt to speed up the process, Pearson is developing a testing research program that will allow select travellers to opt into a test that can deliver results in just two hours. The hope is that those arriving in the city will be far more likely to wait a couple hours in place of multiple days spent in a hotel.
The new program won't begin until at least March 1, so until then, Toronto residents will have to hope travellers comply with current regulations and that the ones who don't aren't carrying anything other than their travel bags.
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