According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), less than one per cent of travellers who opted to pay a fine in lieu of staying in a quarantine hotel upon entering Canada subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
Global News reports that a PHAC email reveals that as of May 26, of the 1,130 travellers who had received a fine for skipping quarantine hotels, fewer than 10 tested positive for COVID-19 on either their day one or day eight test.
That translates to under 0.88 per cent testing positive.
The quarantine hotels have been a required step for travellers entering Canada since February.
All travellers are required to pay their own tab for their three-day stay at the quarantine hotel, and still must also quarantine at their place of residence for two weeks once they leave the hotel.
This differs for land arrivals, as they are not required to go to a quarantine hotel, but still must quarantine at home for 14 days, and take a test for COVID-19 on day one and day eight of their quarantine.
In May an expert advisory panel convened by the Minister of Health recommended hotel quarantines be scrapped altogether. The panel said that they were “inconsistent” with the incubation period of the virus. The panel also noted that hotel quarantines were not equally required of travellers by land or air, and furthermore that travellers could, and have been, bypassing the requirement by paying a fine.
The federal government has so far declined to cancel hotel quarantines, instead increasing the fines from $3000 to $5000, as Open Jaw reported last week.