New mandatory hotel quarantine in effect for international travellers flying into Canada
CALGARY -- As flights touched down from Amsterdam, Minneapolis and Denver this afternoon, passengers were moved through a new arrival process immediately after clearing customs.
Most had to prove they were booked at one of two federally-approved hotels to spend the first three days of their 14 day quarantine.
Partner hotels in Calgary include the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel and the Acclaim Hotel.
Once a traveller presents a negative COVID-19 test after 72 hours in the supervised hotel, they will be permitted to head home to finish out the remainder of the required 14-day quarantine period.
Violators could face up to $750,000 in fines or six months in jail.
“It’s too much” said one woman, returning from the United Arab Emirates. “What else to do? There is no other way.” She said her three-day stay will cost her $1400.
Mandy Atwood has been living in England with her husband and two cats since September of 2019 completing her masters in branding and communication. Her visa is about to expire.
She said she’s vulnerable and takes restrictions seriously, but has been growing frustrated at the lack of information from the federal government. She appealed to the Canadian consulate, but only got a list of internet links as a reply.
"We have read everything that there is multiple times and we are just at a loss as for what to do," Atwood said.
She said that in order to protect her family she and her husband have booked another more affordable place to stay. She thinks there needs to be some flexibility depending on people circumstances.
Of the people who spoke with CTV News today, none were tourists. One woman was coming from the U.S. for her father’s funeral. Others were business travellers, students or returning national team athletes.
There were seven scheduled international flights for Calgary on Monday, one from Amsterdam and the remainder from U.S. cities.
At land border crossings, people driving into the country must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the United States within 72 hours of arrival at the border.
Self-swab kits, and testing will be provided on-site at five high-volume border crossings.
There are exceptions for essential travellers.
Some travellers coming into Canada have told CTV news that booking a room has proven to be challenging, with hours-long wait times on the government phone line and no online booking tool option.