Quarantined travelers formed an angry mob in the lobby of a Toronto hotel after it allegedly ran out of food and bottled water, leaving guests waiting hours to be fed during their mandatory stay.
Canada’s system of mandatory quarantine hotels for those entering the country from abroad are now in question, after a series of endless, chaotic setbacks including food shortages and even alleged sexual assaults.
Some of those experiencing the quarantines, which are mandatory for all incoming travelers for a minimum of three days and at a cost of up to Can$2,000, have documented the problems on social media.
Nikki Mathis, one Canadian citizen was forcefully quarantined in Canada when she returned from the U.S.
In spite of having a negative COVID-19 report with her, Mathis was sent to a quarantine hotel and its location was not known to her.
The reason told to her was that the report didn’t meet the parameters set by Canadian authorities.
However, the situation became worse when Canadian authorities didn’t inform even her husband about her quarantine location. This step was highly criticized on online platforms.
Many other travelers claimed that this medical isolation made them feel like prisoners.
On December 31, 2020, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, under the authority of the Aeronautics Act, is requiring effective January 7, all passengers five years of age or older, be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling by air from another country to Canada.
Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to coming to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Canada.
All travellers will have their quarantine plans reviewed by a government official and, if not suitable, will be asked to quarantine in a federal quarantine facility.
Travellers to Canada must use ArriveCAN and provide accurate contact information and their mandatory 14-day quarantine plan on or before entry.
The government has taken action to increase surveillance and enforcement of these mandatory quarantine restrictions.
Violating any instructions provided when you enter Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.
House Republicans are attacking Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats after Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) tested positive for COVID-19 but arrived at the Capitol on Sunday in order to cast her vote for Speaker.
“Pelosi is putting the public’s health at risk to keep herself in power,” tweeted conservative Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.).
“Looks like @SpeakerPelosi’s proxy voting and remote hearing measures are only essential when her leadership position isn’t on the line,” Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) added in a separate tweet.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said it was “wrong” for Democrats to allow Moore to vote Sunday so soon after her diagnosis.
Because of Democrats’ narrow margins, Pelosi can only afford a handful of defections from Democratic rank-and-file members to retain the Speaker’s gavel another two years. That explains why she may have needed Moore, a Pelosi ally, to fly to Washington to cast her vote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is turning the House of Representatives into a potential coronavirus hotspot, allowing Democrats to break quarantine to vote in the speakership election as she faces a tough battle for another term atop the chamber.
At least three members, according to congressional reporter John Bresnahan, are breaking quarantine to attend swearing-in ceremonies and the all-important speakership election Sunday. Two of them are Democrats, he revealed, and one is a Republican. In addition to those three comes Rep. Gwen Moore (D-FL), attending the vote to back Pelosi after testing positive for the deadly virus just six days ago.
Skylar Mack, 18, of Georgia, broke her two-week quarantine after two days because she wanted to watch her boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet — a 24-year-old jet ski racer from the Cayman Islands — compete in a local race on Nov. 29, People reported.
Under Cayman’s coronavirus guidelines, travelers are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine-in-residence upon arriving on the island.
Mack pled guilty to removing her geo-fencing bracelet and breaking quarantine for seven hours in order to watch her boyfriend compete in a local jet-ski race. He pled guilty to aiding and abetting her.
The couple was initially sentenced to a fine and community service by Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez.
However, Patrick Moran, the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Cayman Islands, appealed the sentence. He claimed it was too lenient and therefore, unlikely to deter others from breaching COVID guidelines.
Moran then sought prison terms for Mack and Ramgeet for the nonviolent transgression. Neither were infected with COVID-19 when Mack breached quarantine.
This week, Vermont’s Republican Governor, Phil Scott announced the state’s plans to have children questioned next week about what they did over the Thanksgiving break and if they attended any gatherings outside of their home. If children respond to the questions with the wrong answer, they will be quarantined for 14 to 7 days.
The idea of the state essentially interrogating children without their parents’ permission and then implementing consequences as a result is chilling. But it is exactly what’s happening and the governor had no problem Tweeting it out to the world.
“Unfortunately, we know some will still get together and schools have asked for help,” the Republican governor tweeted Tuesday. “[The Vermont Agency of Education] will direct schools to ask students or parents if they were part of multi-family gatherings and if the answer is yes, they’ll need to go remote for 14 days or 7 days and a test.”
Coronavirus patients can break quarantine Tuesday to vote in person, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed.
“Voters have the right to vote, regardless of whether they are sick or in quarantine,” the CDC stressed in safe-voting guidance posted Sunday.
While having the right to do so, those infected by the contagion “should take steps to protect poll workers and other voters,” the health agency said.
“This includes wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer before and after voting,” the CDC guidance said.
“You should also let poll workers know that you are sick or in quarantine when you arrive at the polling location,” the agency said.
During a press conference, Dr. Jacques Girard, who heads the Quebec City public health authority, drew attention to a case where patrons at a bar were ordered to wait until their COVID-19 tests came back, but disregarded the command and left the premises before the results came back positive.
This led to them being deemed “uncooperative” and forcibly interned in a quarantine facility.
“[W]e may isolate someone for 14 days,” Girard said during the press conference. “And it is what we did this morning…forced a person to cooperate with the investigation…and police cooperation was exceptional.”