TORONTO – It is almost two weeks since the federal government announced new travel measures, with some international travelers staying at designated hotel isolation sites.
Do not purchase the mandatory PCR Covit-19 test, do not have proper isolation plans, and “unless exempted, all passengers entering Canada will have to undergo a Covit-19 molecular test on arrival, book a 3-night stay at a hotel to wait for the results.” Reads the federal website.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) operates 11 designated hotel sites across the country, but to protect the privacy and safety of travelers, the sites must be kept confidential.
PHIC said 5,030 passengers stayed at designated hotel sites from January 24.
In order to qualify as a listed site, the proximity to Canada’s major international airports, the lack of communication food delivery services, wireless internet and the need for safe transportation for space passengers must be met.
Despite requests for confidentiality, some travelers talk to CTV News about staying in federally isolated hotels – complaining about a lack of communication and a secretive environment that could make a person feel like they are “in jail”.
Mitch Paulie landed at Calgary International Airport after a business trip to Florida, and he was placed in a black van with stained glass windows and taken to an undisclosed location.
“I was like … ‘Where am I going, why am I going there?'” Paulie told CTV News. “They said, ‘We’ll tell you everything when you get there.’
Paulie said he thought he was being “stabbed” when he arrived at the isolated place.
“Where are the hidden cameras? I thought it was crazy, ”he said. “I got out there, there was plastic everywhere, people were walking around … Hasmat cases … It’s like prison.”
Beaulieu said he was isolated because he did not have the right kind of Covit-19 test, and that he caught a glimpse of the building as he exited and found out where he was staying.
From January 7, all international travelers will return to Canada Should show a negative COVID-19 Check in 72 hours before departure.
Another traveler, Angelo Vanegas, stayed at the same coal segregated hotel in Paulo after returning from a private trip to Mexico. Upon arrival his health plan was rejected by health officials, and he was taken to a hotel to be isolated.
Vanegas told CTV News that he was allowed “out for 15 minutes a day” but could not leave his room due to a toe infection, which he says he had to fight to get medical attention.
“I had to beg them and make threats that I was going to call 911 because they were not going to let me see the doctor,” Vanagas said.
He alleged that he was warned by a nurse against telling anyone where he was and that he could be fined for doing so.
One traveler, who was staying at an isolated site in Toronto, said he was not threatened, but admitted that staying was not a comfort.
“I’m not saying it’s like a prison, but it’s definitely a detention center,” Steve Duching told CTV News.
Dozing is now finishing his isolation at home after returning from a trip to North Carolina. He had to stay at the hotel because he took a quick COVID-19 test instead of the required PCR test.
“You got food, you had internet, so it’s not like a prison, it’s still a hotel room, but definitely not a hotel experience,” Duching said.
For now, the isolated are staying in isolated places for free, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that would change soon, but no official date has been set when the passenger bill will be taken up.