quarantine hotel

Woman slammed with $3,458 bill for one night in Toronto quarantine hotel after funeral

The new federal guidelines requiring all international passengers entering Canada to quarantine at a designated hotel on their own dime as they await the results of a mandatory COVID-19 test taken upon landing are proving to be somewhat of a chaotic hardship for many travelers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the rule, which went into effect on Feb. 22, would cost those who choose to enter from another country — whether it be newcomers or Canadians returning from a trip abroad — around $2,000 for a three-night stay at one of 47 selected accommodation sites in four cities nationwide, including 17 in Toronto.

But there have been horror stories of people paying far more than that amount, or not being able to book a room at all despite spending hours trying to get through to the central booking line.

The latest unfortunate traveler is Ontario woman Cristina Teixeira, who had to go to Portugal for a week last month to attend her father's funeral — and was charged a staggering $3,458 for a single night's stay at a quarantine hotel in Toronto upon her return.

Teixeira called the ordeal extremely stressful and "wrong on so many levels" when speaking about it to CTV News on Monday, saying that the hotel more than doubled the rate quoted to her over the phone when she, her brother and her daughter arrived to check in.

She paid $769 per night plus tax to stay at the Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport for three nights, despite the fact that her family's negative COVID-19 test results came in after just one night and that she was told it would cost $369 per night.

"The government has not really figured out the plan. It's literally just horrible," she said of the whole unorganized process.

Everyone from people traveling for work purposes to snowbirds have been bemoaning the new regulations — though those who haven't embarked on travel, whether essential or not, are having trouble sympathizing — which have proved both frustrating and evidently costly.

Some are instead choosing to just skip the hotel stay and risk getting punished with a fine of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison for breaking quarantine act obligations.

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