PHAC Is Investigating Whether Some Sunwing Party Plane Passengers Ignored Quarantine Rules

"Suspected fraudulent cases" are also being looked into. 😳

PHAC Is Investigating Whether Some Sunwing ​Party​ Plane Passengers Ignored Quarantine Rules
Senior Editor

The Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed that it is now looking into whether some Sunwing party plane passengers ignored quarantine rules upon their return to Canada.

In a statement shared with Narcity, the government agency said that 12 notices of non-compliance had been issued under the Quarantine Act to travellers involved in the controversy.

"These are issued on-the-spot to signal obvious non-compliance with a requirement," a spokesperson explained.

That's not all. Officials are also following up on "suspected fraudulent cases and non respect of quarantine."

Canada's travel rules require all incoming passengers to submit a quarantine plan, regardless of their vaccination status, as an individual's eligibility for exemption from quarantine is not determined until they arrive at the border.

Violating instructions provided by border officials is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could result in fines of up to $750,000 and/or six months in prison.

Travellers who break mandatory quarantine or isolation requirements and subsequently cause serious harm to another person could face a penalty of up to $1 million or three years of jail time, or both.

Of the 12 notices issued by PHAC, three reports have been sent to Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) for their review.

A spokesperson for the DPCP confirmed this to Narcity but explained that the cases do not cover the controversial behaviour that took place during the flight.

"A number of investigations are being conducted by various agencies in relation to the enforcement of various laws," they said. "Any cases brought to our attention by one of these agencies will be analyzed in accordance with our guidelines."

In a statement of their own, Transport Canada told Narcity that the agency takes any allegations of non-compliance with travel rules "extremely seriously."

"Transport Canada is conducting extensive checks to ensure compliance with the Aeronautics Act and the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19," they added.

Since an investigation is underway, the agency was not able to provide further details at this time. However, a spokesperson confirmed that "Transport Canada will not hesitate to take appropriate and proportional enforcement action in light of the facts uncovered."

Despite the backlash, 111 Private Club owner James William Awad says "thousands" of people have requested to join the members-only club behind the flight.

He's also hit back at critics, describing them as "sheeps," and announced plans to organize more events in the near future.

Other Quebec influencers involved in the controversy have taken a different approach though, with several taking to social media to apologize for their behaviour.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.