Sunday , January 17 2021

Harsh fines for fake COVID test bought abroad

The federal government does not intend to fool around with travelers who would be tempted to take a false COVID test in order to be able to return home.

• Read also: COVID-19: Travelers may receive federal funds for quarantine

Thus, the office of the Minister of Transport of Canada, Marc Garneau, warns that the fines will be steep and that they can go up to $ 5,000 for anyone who takes “the risk of making a false declaration under the order of Transport Canada emergency ”, in particular through a falsified test.

In addition, air carriers who refuse to comply with the requirements of the Aeronautics Act are subject to a fine of up to $ 25,000, it is said.

The statement follows reports in recent days that have pointed to the possibility of tourists in the South buying fake COVID tests to outsmart airlines and customs officials.
“If an air operator suspects that a traveler has provided false or misleading information concerning the results of his PCR test, he is required to immediately inform Transport Canada”, explains Allison St-Jean, press secretary to Minister Marc Garneau .

It goes on to say that such measures were put in place to protect Canadians.

“We understand that the new requirements may create inconvenience and frustration for some travelers, but we are putting these requirements in place to protect the health of all Canadians,” said Ms. St-Jean.

Travelers are therefore cautioned that providing and attempting to provide false information to a government official upon entering Canada is a serious offense that could result in penalties or criminal charges.

The same goes for foreign nationals who give false information. They could also be refused entry to the country and denied the right to return to Canada.

Ottawa reiterates that it is strongly advised not to travel abroad in a non-essential way in these times of pandemic. Travelers must submit to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country. Recalcitrant faces severe fines of up to $ 750,000 and up to six months in jail.

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