In only one month, the federal government’s hotel quarantine has easily topped the list of Quarantine Act transgressions.
New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) shows the federal government’s quarantine hotel requirements, which came into effect on 21FEB, are where many otherwise compliant Canadian arrivals draw the line – and skirt the rules.
The PHAC says there has been a 98 per cent compliance rate with the Quarantine Act in general. Still, since the start of the pandemic, almost 500 travellers haven’t entirely followed all the rules.
“PHAC is aware of 493 contravention tickets issued to travellers for failing to comply with the Quarantine Act” in a variety of ways, said Tammy Jarbeau, a spokeswoman for PHAC.
But that’s nothing compared to just the first month of hotel quarantines. In that time, police issued 100 tickets to scofflaws refusing to go to a quarantine hotel, according to PHAC data, Postmedia reports.
That’s almost a quarter of all Quarantine Act tickets issued over the entire year of isolation orders during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.
In all, there have been 22,384 rooms booked at government-authorized quarantine hotels, as of 22MAR, the health agency’s data shows.
Since quarantine hotel requirements went into effect on 21FEB, about 26,000 travellers entering Canada by air were exempt from the controversial rules, representing 23 per cent of all air travellers in that period, Postmedia reports. The mandatory hotel stays do not apply to travellers in several categories, including air crews, those deemed an essential service, emergency services workers and some government officials.
PHAC data continues to show a very small percentage of infected travellers entering Canada. Of the 94,135 COVID-19 tests conducted on arriving pax, both via air and land, in the month since quarantine hotel restrictions were put in place, 1,213 tested positive for COVID-19.
That is a COVID-19 positivity rate of 1.3 per cent.
The current emergency quarantine order is set to expire 21APR, but may be extended, as it has been previously.