Mandatory hotel quarantine rules cause financial difficulties, new immigrant says

New Canadian Immigrant: Ivy Wang poses for a portrait in Calgary on Tuesday, Feb.23,2021. Wang believes travellers should take responsibility to quarantine themselves for 14 days and prepare to pay the cost up to $2000. (Photo by Sugege Du/The Press)

According to the air traveller requirements of the government of Canada, all travellers entering Canada by air are required to take three days mandatory hotel quarantine starting on Feb. 22, 2021.    

Travellers will be responsible for the cost of quarantine around $2,000.   

Treena Lo, a new Canadian immigrant currently in Taiwan said the quarantine rules will cause financial problems to her.   

“It’s very unfair; especially for newcomers,” said Lo. “I received a government document that requires me to arrive in Canada by March, which means I must spend $2,000 for the hotel quarantine.”   

“I do understand the government is actually doing something to control the COVID-19 but isn’t too late to start the mandatory hotel quarantine?” said Lo. “The COVID-19 pandemic is almost over.”   

Lo said that the government should take responsibility to cover the fee for people who have essential reasons to travel because many people have been facing serious financial difficulties under the pandemic.    

“I lost my job in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Then, I returned to Taiwan because I could find a job and work there. I got my PR application approved during this period.”   

At the end of the three days quarantine period at hotel, travellers who test positive will be sent to a government arranged location for the rest of their quarantine and treatment. Travellers who test negative will be required to take a 14 days quarantine at their own places.   

“I do support it,” said Ivy Wang, a Calgary citizen. “I think most of the COVID-19 cases in Canada are from the outside of Canada. Like some people travelling from America, they might carry the COVID-19 to the airplane.”   

“Three days is not too bad, like someone who has COVID-19 might takes 15 days to be noticed.”   

Wang explained that even $2,000 might be too much for most people, but people who decide to travel during this special time must prepare for it.   

“People might be angry about this rule, but they should know the more important thing comparing to everything else is to control the number of the cases,” she said.    

Canada’s health minister, Patty Hajdu, said the hotel prices include the cost of rooms, food, clean up, prevention and control of the spread of the virus, security and transportation.   

“The hotels are doing the billing directly and different hotels will have different rates,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in a virtual conference on February 12. “The hotels are setting the price based on their own deliberations on their own expenses.”