Air travellers to Canada now forced to submit COVID info online before entering country
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OTTAWA, November 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s government is mandating that travellers provide COVID-19 information digitally through the ArriveCAN software when entering the country or face a fine of up to a $1,000.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) announced earlier this month that effective November 21, “air travellers whose final destination is Canada will be required to submit their information electronically through ArriveCAN before they board their flight.”
“Travellers who do not submit the required information digitally before boarding their flight could be subject to enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to $1,000 fine,” the November 2 PHAC release stated.
“Exceptions will be made for those unable to submit documents electronically due to personal circumstances, such as disability or inadequate infrastructure.”
Required information “includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan (unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order), and COVID-19 symptom self-assessment.”
“This is a significant step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 as traveller information can be shared quickly and securely with provinces and territories to contact travellers for public health follow-up, and with law enforcement to verify compliance with the Mandatory Isolation Order,” the PHAC press release stated.
At this point, ArriveCAN can be accessed online and PHAC has not mandated the exclusive use of the ArriveCAN smartphone app.
According to the PHAC, “ArriveCAN does not use any technology or data, such as GPS, to monitor or track traveller movements. Your privacy is protected.”
PHAC is also ramping up quarantine requirements.
In March, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government brought in emergency orders under a federal Quarantine Act requiring that individuals who enter Canada isolate for 14 days. Those found guilty of breaking the orders face a maximum fine of $750,000 or six months in jail.
Beginning November 21, quarantined individuals must submit a daily “COVID-19 symptom self-assessment” to the government, either through ArriveCAN or by calling in.
If they do not comply, they “will be considered a high priority for follow-up by law enforcement,” the PHAC release stated.
Additionally, as of November 21, all travellers — unless exempted under conditions set out in the Mandatory Isolation Order — entering Canada by land, sea, or air must confirm within 48 hours of entry that “they have arrived at their place of quarantine or isolation.”
Natalie Mohamed, a media relations adviser for Health Canada and PHAC, explained what is new about the November 21 mandates.
Since March 25, “travellers subject to mandatory quarantine or isolation under the Quarantine Act were required to submit contact information, possible symptoms, their quarantine or isolation plan, etc., to border officials upon entry into Canada,” she told LifeSiteNews in an email.
They can do so through the ArriveCAN app or website, but “to date, predominately paper forms have been used,” Mohamed said.
“As is the case currently, anyone who refuses to comply with an order under the Quarantine Act may be subject to possible enforcement action, which can range from verbal warnings to $1,000 fines. This will continue to be the case as of November 21, 2020.”
Mohamed did not confirm if failing to submit daily COVID-19 symptom reports would be considered a breach of quarantine and punishable by a maximum fine of $750,000 or six months in jail.
“Those who don’t submit the mandatory information will be considered a relatively higher priority for follow-ups by law enforcement to determine whether they are complying with the requirements of the Mandatory Isolation Order,” she said.
PHAC is a government agency responsible for public health, emergency preparedness and response, and infectious and chronic disease control and prevention.
It is under the direction of Health Minister Patty Hajdu. One of its executive officers is Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.
A day after the PHAC made this announcement, Tam recommended that Canadians up their COVID-19 masks to three-layers if they are using a non-medical mask.
“To improve the level of protection that can be provided by non-medical masks or face coverings, we are recommending that you consider a three-layer non-medical mask," she said.
“According to recently updated guidelines, two layers of the mask should be made of a tightly woven fabric, such as cotton or linen, and the middle layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric,” the CBC reported.
The World Health Organization has been recommending three-layer masks since June, it added.
However, president and founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, Dr. Simone Gold, reiterated the view of the group during an October White Coat Summit.
“The facts are not in dispute: masks are completely irrelevant to blocking the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” she said. “It’s a complete fabrication. A virus is 1/1000 the size of a hair.”
Going even further, AFD member Dr. Lee Merritt described masks as “George Orwell’s boot on a human face forever if we don’t get this off.”
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