Two passengers arriving in Toronto from the United States recently faced hefty fines for failing to meet Canada’s entry requirements, according a news release from The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
The travellers, who arrived in Canada during the week of July 18, 2021, were each slapped with four fines total – a total of $19,720 each! – for providing false information related to proof of vaccination credentials and pre-departure tests and for non-compliance with the requirement to stay at a government-authorized accommodation and on-arrival testing requirements.
In their release, PHAC reiterated that providing false information and/or documents to a Government of Canada official upon entry to Canada or making false statements or presenting fraudulent documents, such as vaccination credentials, is a “serious offence and may result in fines and/or criminal charges.”
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) works with domestic and international partners “to detect and intercept fraudulent documents,” PHAC said.
The CBSA also works with PHAC to ensure only “valid proof of vaccine documents are accepted.”
Review the requirements
PHAC points out that violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada "is an offence under the Quarantine Act" and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offence committed, “or more serious penalties,” including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.
The agency reiterates that it is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure they are eligible to enter Canada and that they meet all of the mandatory requirements.
“The Government of Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted to protect the health of Canadians from the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants of concern,” PHAC said.
On July 5, the Government of Canada implemented exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers who are currently eligible to enter Canada.
Fully vaccinated travellers who wish to be considered for the eased quarantine and testing requirements must meet all criteria, including the electronic submission of their proof of vaccination documentation into the ArriveCAN app prior to arrival at the port of entry.
Meanwhile, the federal government continues to “actively participate in discussions” with the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and through the G7 on proof of vaccination credentials for international travel.