Canadians crossing the border for vaccinations must be quarantined upon return, says Ottawa – fr

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Canadians crossing the border for vaccinations must be quarantined upon return, says Ottawa – fr


Canadians seeking to cross the border into the United States for the sole purpose of being vaccinated against COVID-19 are not exempt from mandatory quarantine upon their return.
In a statement Wednesday evening, the Public Health Agency of Canada said the quarantine exemptions currently in place are not for people traveling abroad to get vaccinated against coronavirus disease.

“The testing and quarantine exemptions for travelers returning to Canada after receiving essential medical services in a foreign country are not intended to be used for those seeking to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” a PHAC spokesperson said in an email.

“This provision is in place to allow Canadians seeking life-saving medical treatment outside of Canada. “

The statement attempts to clarify reports earlier this week that the vaccine could be considered an essential medical service and Canadians crossing the border could be exempted from the 14-day quarantine upon their return.

Earlier this week, Albertans who attended a Montana vaccination clinic were told they were exempt from quarantine for 14 days.

The new statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada tries to clarify reports earlier this week that the vaccine can be considered an essential medical service and Canadians crossing the border could be exempted from the 14th quarantine. days upon their return. In fact, Canadians traveling abroad to get vaccinated must self-quarantine upon their return. (Paul Sancya / The Associated Press)

The Canada-U.S. Border has been closed in light of the pandemic of non-essential travel for purposes such as tourism and recreation since March 2020. Non-essential travelers entering Canada through the land border must provide proof of a COVID-19 negative pre-arrival test, in addition to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for returning non-essential travelers.

But as of February, patients undergoing essential medical treatment can only ignore these requirements if they have a written statement from a licensed health care practitioner in Canada – and a practitioner in the country where they are receiving treatment.

The health agency said in the statement that “COVID-19 vaccines are widely available in Canada.” Canada administered 19.4 million doses, with 47.9% of the total population having received at least one dose, according to CBC vaccine tracking data.

US says vaccine travel not essential

Canada’s leading public health agency also points out that the decision whether or not to allow entry into the United States would rest with US border officials.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said on Wednesday that Canadians attempting to cross the U.S. border only to be vaccinated against COVID-19, even with a doctor’s recommendation, would be denied entry.

“Travel for the sole purpose of obtaining a vaccination is not permitted under current travel restrictions,” a spokesperson for the agency said.

“If a person enters the United States for legitimate travel reasons, as permitted by current restriction guidelines, and receives a vaccine on the sidelines of their trip, that is not part of the overall eligibility determination. “

Maximum penalties for violating mandatory quarantine rules for returning travelers include a fine of up to $ 750,000 and / or six months imprisonment.

If someone endangers the lives of others “by willfully or recklessly breaking the law,” the penalties are even heavier: $ 1 million or three years in prison, or both.

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