'Too much for me,' woman records herself leaving airport after refusing quarantine hotel stay
MONTREAL -- After three negative COVID-19 tests, and taking what she felt was adequate health precautions throughout her trip, Fanny Lapointe decided to refuse a stay at a quarantine hotel after a trip to Las Vegas for her best friend's wedding and headed home.
Lapointe said she's not the only one who is doing so, even if it’s required under the Quarantine Act.
"There's a lot of people refusing it," she told CTV News. "I received minimum three videos per day."
Lapointe posted a video for her over 30,000 followers on her Instagram page walking through the Montreal airport to take a taxi home after refusing the mandatory hotel stay.
The video garnered around 600 likes, and multiple comments congratulating or praising her for the decision.
Health Canada said as of March 20, 2021, 100 tickets have been issued to travellers arriving in Canada without having booked government-authorized accomodations (GAA) and refusing to go to the hotel.
"The fine for refusing to go to a GAA is $3,000," said spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau in an email. "Individuals who contravene the mandatory isolation or mandatory quarantine requirements, including the instructions of a Quarantine Officer, may be subject to a range of enforcement measures under the Quarantine Act. Maximum penalties include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.
"Further, a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening this Act or the regulations, including submitting false information related to an individual’s quarantine plan, could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or to both."
Lapointe said she has received no such fine, and told CTV News that she felt heading straight home to quarantine was the most responsible thing to do, as it would avoid contact with multiple people in addition to racking up more bills.
"Everyone's going to the same hotel as you, and you have to see them, and on top of this, there are all the people [who] work there, and they go out to their homes and families," said Lapointe.
She insists that she has no issue with the health-care workers trying to make her go to a hotel and respects the health measures, but after spending $550 on three tests on both sides of the border, and seeing that hotel rates were being raised for quarantine, she was not going to pay.
"I spent enough money on all those things," she said. "I have businesses. I respect all the health-care measures and rules, but it was too much for me. It was not fair."
The Canadian government requires travellers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test up to 72 hours before their departure time, and must reserve a government-authorized hotel for three nights prior to departure to Canada.
They must then stay at the hotel for three nights while they wait for a COVID-19 test result that they are required to take when landing.
Lapointe said she would have stayed at the hotel if they had not bumped the price up.
"If the room was at a regular price and not over-priced, I would do it," said Lapointe adding that the room went from $90 to $375 per night because she was returning from the States.
"They are supposed to understand on top of it, that we're all losing a lot of money, all our businesses suffer, and if it's so important and they want people to do it, why do they make it so expensive?"
Lapointe has received both positive and negative responses to her decision.
"I am at peace with my decision," she said. "I did one video, and the videos was only to explain what my situation was. I didn't say anything bad regarding the airport, regarding the people working there."