Thousands of travellers may have entered Canada and failed to quarantine properly. According to officials, the RCMP were advised to follow-up on over 21,000 cases where visitors may have broken Canada’s rules. The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) says that some people showed an unwillingness to comply from the moment they crossed the border.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, per CTV News, thousands of referrals have been made to police regarding travellers who became unreachable after arriving in Canada, or who showed an "indication of non-compliance" with the rules.
Per Canada’s Quarantine Act, which has been in place since March, travellers are required to quarantine for 14 days upon entering Canada.
However, there are up to 21,422 cases of people who may have ignored this rule.
While the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) referred over thousands of cases to the RCMP for further investigation, only 1,500 were deemed to be priority cases that required a physical check-up.
Even then, very few have faced penalties. According to a PHAC spokesperson, just nine tickets have been issued for offences under the Quarantine Act.
As of July 9, no arrests have been made in relation to these quarantine check-ups.
Failure to comply with the mandatory isolation order is an offence under the Quarantine Act. You may be fined up to… https://t.co/ScvlEItRyQ— Canada Border Services Agency (@Canada Border Services Agency)1594322109.0
Some of these people, the CBSA told CTV News, indicated they would not follow the rules from the moment they entered Canada.
A CBSA spokesperson explained, "As of July 3, 2020, the CBSA has referred information to both PHAC and the RCMP on 237 travellers who the CBSA believes may not have respected the requirement to quarantine or isolate and/or those who have signalled an unwillingness to comply.”
Despite Canada’s borders remaining shut to all non-essential travellers, some international visitors have found ways to enter the country using loopholes.
One American family, using an “Alaska loophole,” told border officials that they were passing through Canada to head “home” to Alaska. They were permitted entry but subsequently went on vacation in Banff.
Other U.S. citizens have entered Canada and committed to the mandatory quarantine period, but have been caught just hours later breaking the rules.
While the prime minister is yet to confirm this, reports suggest that the Canada-U.S. border closure will be extended through August 21.
Speaking on Monday, July 13, Trudeau confirmed that an announcement would be shared in the coming days.