New hotel quarantine rules for air travellers are now in effect. Here’s what you need to know

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New hotel quarantine rules for air travellers are now in effect. Here's what you need to know
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Starting Monday, most air passengers coming into Canada should adjust to new journey measures, together with a dear lodge quarantine.

The brand new rules are off to a bumpy begin, with complaints from some travellers that they cannot get via on the federal government telephone line to e book their lodge, or they cannot determine in the event that they’re exempt from the foundations.

This is the most recent on what we all know, together with the price of the lodge quarantine.

How do I e book a room?

Most air passengers will now need to take a COVID-19 check after touchdown in Canada and spend as much as three days of their 14-day quarantine interval in a chosen lodge to await their check outcomes.

Passengers should pre-book their lodge keep earlier than arriving in Canada.

On Friday, the federal authorities posted on-line an inventory of permitted quarantine motels. Eighteen are at present listed.

There isn’t any choice to e book on-line, so travellers should name a devoted telephone line to order a room.

Quickly after the telephone line was launched, social media lit up with complaints from travellers that, after lengthy waits on maintain, their calls saved getting disconnected.

At a information convention on Friday, the federal government stated it was addressing the telephone drawback.

Nevertheless, CBC Information heard from a number of travellers over the weekend who stated they nonetheless could not get via on the telephone to e book a room.

“The maintain music that is taking part in for, like, three, three and a half hours, abruptly it stops and the decision will get dropped,” Vineeth Nair stated on Sunday, after attempting — with out success — since Friday to e book his room.

Nair, a everlasting Canadian resident dwelling in New York, is about to fly to Toronto on Thursday because of a piece switch. However he stated he is frightened he will not be capable of reserve his lodge in time.

“It is a state of confusion proper now. Initially, I am shifting international locations, so it is not making it simple for me.”

Vineeth Nair and his spouse, Mahekk Nair, are set to fly from New York to Toronto on Thursday, however thus far he has been unable to to e book their keep at a quarantine lodge in Toronto. (Submitted by Vineeth Nair)

As soon as they get via on the telephone line, passengers should reserve a room for 3 nights — although they solely have to remain for so long as it takes to get their check outcomes.

Travellers who check destructive can go away instantly and end the remainder of their 14-day quarantine at dwelling. Those that have to take a connecting home flight can e book it at this level and fly dwelling.

Individuals who check constructive can be required to complete their quarantine at a chosen authorities facility.

The Public Well being Company of Canada (PHAC) stated it is as much as the discretion of the lodge whether or not it is going to give a rebate to folks allowed to take a look at early.

“Travellers ought to be ready to pay for a three-night keep,” PHAC spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau stated in an e mail. 

Lodge keep might be less expensive than $2,000

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the brand new lodge quarantine guidelines on Jan. 29, he stated the price of the three-night lodge keep is “anticipated to be greater than $2,000.”

Nevertheless it seems the whole, which incorporates meals and transportation, could also be a lot lower than that — relying on the place you keep, as costs differ extensively.

The Acclaim lodge in Calgary costs $611, together with taxes, for the three nights, an worker stated.

That is a big worth distinction from the Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport lodge, which, in response to an worker, costs $1,827, together with taxes.

WATCH | Questions swirl over COVID-19 quarantine motels:

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A traveller flying to Toronto, who didn’t need her title revealed, confirmed CBC Information her quarantine lodge reserving affirmation on the 4 Factors by Sheraton. It totalled $1089.41 together with taxes.

At a information convention on Friday, Well being Minister Patty Hajdu stated the ultimate price ticket is as much as the person lodge.

“The motels are doing the billing immediately, and totally different motels may have totally different charges.”

PHAC stated that, right now, the federal government will not cost travellers for his or her post-arrival COVID-19 check.

Will I be exempt?

CBC Information has obtained dozens of inquiries from individuals who travelled overseas for discretionary causes — similar to for college or work — and wish to know in the event that they’re exempt from the lodge quarantine requirement when returning dwelling.

Alexis Pearman of Mississauga, Ont., is about to fly dwelling on March 10 after finishing a masters in physiotherapy at Glasgow Caledonian College in Scotland.

Pearman stated she has contacted quite a few authorities departments however has but to verify whether or not she and her fellow-Canadian classmates can be exempt from the lodge quarantine.

“As the times go on, it type of turns into extra disheartening and extra irritating, not having a solution after which … attempting to have to determine how we’ll pay for this quarantine,” she stated.

Alexis Pearman of Mississauga, Ont., who’s ending graduate faculty in Scotland, hopes to be exempt from the lodge quarantine requirement when returning to Canada. (Submitted by Alexis Pearman)

When CBC Information requested PHAC for particular particulars about exemptions, it despatched a hyperlink to a brand new authorities data website.

In accordance with the positioning, folks already exempt from the 14-day quarantine — similar to important employees, cross-border employees and folks receiving medical remedy — are additionally exempt from the lodge quarantine.

Unaccompanied minors are additionally exempt, as are folks with compassionate instances, similar to these attending a funeral, in the event that they get authorities pre-approval.

However typically, travellers who’re required to quarantine — together with college students returning dwelling from overseas — must e book a room in a quarantine lodge.

“Our authorities has been extraordinarily clear that only a few exemptions can be consented to, they usually’re actually associated to important travellers,” Hajdu stated on Friday.

Individuals who have questions on journey exemptions can name the federal government’s COVID-19 data line at 1-833-784-4397. CBC Information referred to as the quantity on Sunday afternoon, and an automatic voice stated that “because of unexpected circumstances, wait occasions are longer than standard.”

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