Mom, kids fined $18K, sent to Canadian quarantine site for presenting 2-hour-expired COVID test at border
A Canadian mother along with her four children and the children’s grandmother were each fined $3,000 and hustled into a government-run COVID quarantine facility after Canadian border agents refused to accept the results of their COVID tests because the results were 2 hours expired.
Eager to follow the rules of reentry into Canada, the mother, a registered nurse (RNBN) who works in chronic care, went in with her mother and children for the PCR COVID tests on Friday, Feb. 12. The tests all came back negative. They also came with an expiration date of 72 hours set by the Canadian government, meaning that the test would only be valid for 72 hours after taking it.
Five test results came back on Sunday. The last one came back Monday at 1:30 a.m. At 6:30 a.m. that same morning, the mother left for the Canadian border, with 8 hours left before the tests expired. Normally, this would have been more than sufficient time. But then the family’s car started having troubles.
“Three warning lights came on, causing me to drive slower,” the 47-year-old mother said.
The family finally reached the Pembina-Emerson border just after 4:00 p.m. They came prepared with their test results and a quarantine plan for when they returned to their home in Winnipeg. But by the time they reached the customs official, their COVID tests had already expired by 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The tickets state that the family failed to “comply with an order reguarding [sic] a treatment measure for preventing the introduction and spread of a communicable disease” according to Section 26 of the Quarantine Act.
Quarantine Act Section 26 states the following: “If a quarantine officer, after the medical examination of a traveller, has reasonable grounds to believe that the traveller has or might have a communicable disease or is infested with vectors, or has recently been in close proximity to a person who has or might have a communicable disease or is infested with vectors, the quarantine officer may order the traveller to comply with treatment or any other measure for preventing the introduction and spread of the communicable disease.”
The government of Canada mandated that as of February 15, “all travelers, with some exceptions, arriving to Canada by land, will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the United States within 72 hours of pre-arrival.”
Global News reported on Feb. 9 that “lack of a negative test won’t necessarily prevent people from entering the country. Should Canadians or permanent residents not be able to provide that test result, they could face ‘severe penalties,’ including fines of up to $3,000 per person.”
The mother said she tried to be totally compliant in following all the rules.