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Canadian quarantine hotels warned to follow rules after range of complaints

Last Updated Mar 10, 2021 at 11:02 am PDT

The airport hotel is shown as people walk outside with their luggage at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. The Canadian government has made it mandatory for international travellers arriving in Canada to quarantine at isolation hotels while waiting for their COVID-19 test results. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Summary

Complaints have been raised over conditions at some quarantine hotels in Canada

Public health says hotels providing quarantine accommodation were selected because they meet certain criteria

Measures require travellers to Canada to quarantine for up to three days in a hotel as part of 14 day isolation

OTTAWA – The Public Health Agency of Canada is warning hotels taking part in the federal quarantine system that they could lose their government-approved status if they don’t follow the rules.

Over the last couple of weeks, many air travellers going through the mandatory three-day quarantine at authorized hotels have complained of the conditions they faced. There have been complaints from people saying they get little food and that meals are hours behind schedule. Some have even said they were forced to leave their rooms and go to the lobby just to get service.

Related video: Mounting complaints at mandatory quarantine hotels from air travellers

In a statement to us, the public health authority says hotels providing quarantine accommodation were selected because they meet certain criteria.

“PHAC takes complaints from travellers at government-authorized hotels seriously,” the statement reads. “PHAC will call travellers and may conduct remote verification or onsite visits of government-authorized accommodations to make sure hotels are meeting the requirements outlined by PHAC.”

The agency notes travellers should be provided with information of what is expected of them and of hotel staff during their stay. They can also call the PHAC if they have complaints.

Problems at quarantine hotels have prompted the federal opposition to demand the government suspend the program.

Related video: Not everyone complying with new hotel quarantine orders

Current measures require travellers to Canada to take a PCR test within 72-hours of boarding a flight to this country. When they arrive, passengers are tested again and must await their results in a government-approved hotel for up to three days at their own cost.

Those who test negative for COVID-19 are able to complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine at home, while those who test positive will remain under government care.

“The new testing and 3-night hotel stopover measures are necessary to protect Canadians,” the PHAC says. “COVID-19 variants of concern have been detected in every province and we must be vigilant in preventing new travel-related cases.”