NO MORE THAN, ALTA. – A number of fully vaccinated Canadians were forced into quarantine for two weeks after returning from day trips to the US and failed to pre-register on the ArriveCAN app, a requirement for re-entry. again.
Last month, the federal government adjusted pandemic travel regulations to allow fully vaccinated Canadians to re-enter the country within 72 hours without providing a visa. PCR test was negative, a decision widely welcomed by people living near the US border.
However, travelers are still required to provide the required information, including proof of vaccinations, travel dates and quarantine plan in the ArriveCAN app before heading back to the Canadian border – leading to confusion for travelers. many return from day trips.
“It feels like I am being punished for not being able to navigate the ArriveCAN app,” Surrey, BC resident Martin Turo told CTV Vancouver on Friday.
On Thursday, Turo crossed the border to pick up a package in Blaine, Wash. Despite registering his trip on the ArriveCAN app, the 70-year-old admits he’s not tech-savvy so he couldn’t figure out how to upload his vaccine details.
“I had that vaccine passport with me and (the border guard) didn’t even want to look at it,” Turo said.
Turo is currently subject to a 14-day quarantine, despite having received two COVID-19 vaccines plus a booster shot and traveling only 30 minutes south of the border.
Similarly, Rick Minchin and his wife spent four hours in Blaine on Tuesday, before heading back to New Westminster, BC, via the Pacific Highway crossing. Unaware of the requirements of the ArriveCAN app, the couple were asked to quarantine by the border official they spoke to.
“We tried to discuss with him: ‘Can we turn around? Can we do anything else? ‘ Minchin explained.
A woman who lives in the Toronto area, Laurie Fonseca was also slapped with a quarantine order after spending seven hours shopping across the border in Buffalo, NY.
“It was like being kicked in the gut,” Fonseca told CTV News Toronto on Thursday. “I’m basically housebound for 14 days and I’m a Canadian citizen, fully vaccinated – which makes absolutely no sense to me.”
Fonseca said she asked CBSA staff if she could park and fill out the application later, but was denied.
According to the Canada Border Services Agency, many Canadians have not registered their trips on the app since the new rules went into effect on November 30, while some travelers without CTV News said it was allowed to come back, download the app and go back to the border, not everyone has been given that opportunity.
Ryan Neely, an immigration attorney based in Vancouver, told CTV Vancouver: “Subjectivity is a telltale sign when it comes to the Canadian border. “It’s the officer’s decision if they want to send you off and give you time to fill out that application.”
Use of the app has come under criticism from people who worry elderly and disabled Canadians might not be able to navigate the app.
The federal government notes that if you have accessibility needs or a compatible smartphone, you can submit your information through the browser version of ArriveCAN on any computer.
According to the ArriveCAN website, the government is working to make the mobile app accessible, adding, “if you can’t use ArriveCAN due to accessibility needs, you won’t be able to use it. denied boarding or entering Canada.”
However, the website also notes that travelers who do not check in using the ArriveCAN feature may face delays due to additional questions and potentially “forced action”.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING ONLY
The ArriveCAN app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The ArriveCAN iPhone app is compatible with any iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad running iOS 12.0 or later. On Android, the app requires Android 6.0 or higher.
Once logged in, you will be asked to submit required information including proof of vaccinations, travel dates and quarantine plan. This must be done before you arrive at the border to re-enter Canada.
Upon arrival, a Canada Border Services officer will ask to see your ArriveCAN receipt. If you don’t have a smartphone or other device with you, be sure to have a printed copy of your ArriveCAN receipt ready.
Additional information about the ArriveCAN application can be found here.
– With files from Adam Frisk, Tom Yun, CTV Vancouver and CTV Toronto