jess faraone

Unmasked Toronto nurse refuses testing and quarantine at Pearson Airport

A Registered Nurse from Toronto arrived at Pearson International Airport this week and refused to wear a mask, undergo a COVID-19 test or cooperate with the mandatory three-day hotel quarantine period despite legislation requiring all international travellers to do so to protect public health.

Jess Faraone returned to Toronto from a trip to Tanzania on Thursday prepared to fight the COVID-19 airport rules, which have been implemented to protect the health and safety of travellers as well as all Canadian residents, and she shared the unpleasant encounter with airport officials that followed on her Instagram stories. 

"So far I have refused to stay in a hotel because I'm a Canadian citizen, I'm refusing to do the COVID test because I'm a Canadian citizen, so now I'm waiting to talk to public health and we'll see what they have to say," she says in one of the videos before revealing that she got into a "screaming match" with border security.

In the sequence of stories, airport officials can be heard telling Faraone that while she is entitled to her opinion, she still has to respect those around her — to which she responds that she is frontline worker and "considered a hero."

But despite the pushback from airport employees, it seems Faraone was able to leave the airport without complying with any of the required health measures.

"Moral of the story is I walked out," she says in another Instagram story in which she appears to be exiting the airport. "I didn't even get a fucking ticket. They said they'd mail it to me. They tried to shame me because I'm a nurse and I should know better and that's all fucking bullshit."

The RN tagged notorious anti-masker Chris Sky in several of the clips, and she also posted a follow-up video from home.

"I think the part that bothered me the most is the fact that the officer, the police officers, were really rude to me and the public health nurses were extremely rude to me, shaming me, saying I should know better I'm a nurse, threatening to report me to the College of Nurses," she says in the clip. 

"This is absolute insanity. We need to stick together. I'm completely allowed to have my own opinion based on working in hospitals, on COVID floors, in long-term care homes."

According to journalist Katherine Laidlaw, Faraone was working as a nurse at Six Surgery Toronto before the pandemic hit — the same clinic as infamous plastic surgeon Dr. Martin Jugenburg, also known as Instagram influencer Dr. 6ix.

Back in 2019, former patients issued a class-action lawsuit against Jugenburg for allegedly filming them without consent.

The nurse said in one of her Instagram stories that she stopped working at the clinic when the pandemic forced it to shut down and has since worked in long-term care and on COVID-19 floors in hospitals.

Most recently, she was volunteering at a medical clinic in Tanzania, which is where she was returning from when she arrived at Pearson this week. 

Why the nurse refused to participate in precautions that have been put in place to protect public health from the very real threat of COVID-19 and its variants, then, is anybody's guess.

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