Toronto-area family questions COVID-19 travel rules after spending days in quarantine facility – .

Toronto-area family questions COVID-19 travel rules after spending days in quarantine facility – .

A Toronto-area family is questioning COVID-19 testing and Canada’s travel rules after spending days in a quarantine hotel after returning from South Africa.

The Hayes family left for South Africa on November 13 and was due to return to Canada on November 28. They said they had received their negative COVID-19 tests and arrived at the airport, but then “everything hit the fan.”

“We arrived at Cape Town airport and were told that the Canadian government had decided to change the COVID testing rules requiring a COVID test from a third country,” said Doug Hayes. “So that meant that when we got to Ethiopia, we had to do some tests there and get the results back. “

Hayes said he and his two adult daughters had to wait at the airport for test results to come back negative. They ended up missing their initial flight and spent around 30 hours at Addis Ababa airport.

When the family finally arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Sunday morning, they expected to have to self-quarantine for 14 days. Instead, they were told they had to take a COVID-19 test at the airport and then go to a quarantine hotel while awaiting their results.

A few days later, Aurora, Ontario. the family is still waiting.

“The COVID test results we got in South Africa and Ethiopia, and before that in Botswana, took around eight to 12 hours,” Hayes said. “Back here in Canada, we’re told it’s about 72 hours. “

The hotel room has a small living space and a sleeping area with two beds, according to the video sent to CTV News Toronto by Hayes. The family say they get three meals a day delivered in a paper bag, but it took two days for a broken coffee machine to be replaced.

“I called the office and said ‘Can we have some ice cream? do we have ice cream? ‘ and the guy said ‘This is not a hotel, this is a quarantine center.’ “

One of Hayes’ daughters, who suffers from chronic migraines, has also repeatedly called the lobby for Advil and Women’s products. The family say it took staff a whole day to respond, and they only did so when they threatened to leave the hotel to walk to a pharmacy.

Hayes said even when her family collects their test results, they can’t just pack their bags and go. They must wait until the staff can “coordinate” their discharge.

“We are all short of work. We have two dogs at the house, ”said Hayes, adding that the return of the family has now been delayed for nine days. “We have to find someone to take care of our house and our dogs, and I mean it’s frustrating. “

Hayes said the new travel and testing rules add to the frustration. He wonders why Canada has decided to impose a third country testing requirement.

“I mean the idea of ​​sending Canadians to another country, another group of flights, exposing them to another airport, another plane, another group of travelers that defies logic. “

On November 30, the federal government imposed new travel restrictions requiring all Canadians traveling by air, except those coming from the United States, to be tested at the airport in addition to the required test before boarding. board a flight. Fully vaccinated people will be allowed to self-isolate at home until they test negative. Those who have not been fully vaccinated should continue to self-isolate for 14 days.

However, the rules change slightly for Canadians arriving from any of the 10 southern African countries. These travelers must undergo a test in a third country before arriving at a Canadian airport.

Once in Canada, these travelers will need to take a COVID-19 test at the airport and stay in a government quarantine facility until they test negative.

Fully vaccinated people will then be able to complete their period of isolation at home while they take their day 8 COVID-19 test.

Those who are not vaccinated should stay in the government facility for 14 days.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has said travelers required to self-quarantine or self-isolate at a designated facility “are not required to pay any costs associated with their stay.”

With files from Rahim Ladhani of CTV News Toronto


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