On Feb. 22, the federal government officially implemented a new law requiring residents returning to Canada (with some exceptions for essential workers) to quarantine in a hotel at their own expense for at least three days.
The new rule, which went into effect in response to concerns about new COVID-19 variants (such as those that were recently discovered in the UK, South Africa and Brazil) entering Canada via travellers, has been met with both support and concern.
But while some people say it’s an overreach that could violate Canadians’ Charter rights and others argue it’s too little, too late, the new policy is now in effect and will impact people returning to Canada from abroad.
As for how it works, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently took to Twitter to announce that residents flying back into Canada will need to show a negative PCR test result before they board the plane and take another PCR test when they land.
After the second test, residents will have to wait at an approved hotel for their test results.
If a person’s results come back negative, they’ll be able to quarantine at home for the full 14 days and the quarantine will be mandatory and enforced. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to immediately quarantine in designated government facilities.
According to the government, the following Mississauga/Toronto hotels can be used for the mandatory three-day quarantine by people arriving at Pearson International Airport:
- Alt Hotel Pearson Airport (6080 Viscount Rd. in Mississauga)
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Toronto Airport (3299 Caroga Dr. in Mississauga)
- Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport (6257 Airport Rd. in Mississauga)
- Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport (970 Dixon Rd. in Toronto)
- Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport (Terminal 3)
- Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre (801 Dixon Rd. in Toronto)
The cost of the three-day quarantine could be up to $2,000.
According to the government’s website, hotel stopover bookings are managed by GB Travel Canada Inc. and are available by phone only. Bookings can’t be made directly with the hotel.
In a tweet, Trudeau said that travellers returning through a land border will also need to take a PCR test upon arrival.
“This is on top of the negative test result you must show from the 72 hours before your arrival. Toward the end of your 14-day quarantine, you’ll be required to take another PCR test,” the prime minister tweeted.
All returning travellers need to submit their travel details and contact information through the ArriveCAN app before they arrive.
Travellers must also submit a suitable quarantine plan.
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Cover photo courtesy of The Canadian Press