Quick trip to the U.S. results in quarantine nightmare for northern Ontario couple
A northern Ontario couple who took a three-day trip to the U.S. are now in isolation for two weeks.
Suzanne Beckerton and her partner crossed the border in Sault Ste. Marie on Nov. 4 after uploading all of their documents to the ArriveCan app.
“This can’t be done ahead of time as it can only be done when you are leaving," said Beckerton.
"We scanned our proof of vaccines, we scanned our passports and everything appeared to be uploaded on our apps and everything seemed fine."
The couple was stateside to purchase a snowmobile and when they arrived at the border, they were told to pull to the side and thought nothing of it.
This came after being asked for a QR Code, something they didn’t realize was part of the ArriveCan app and had to be shown in order to cross the border.
“Next thing you know, another officer knocks on my window and says you’re being quarantined for 14 days," said Beckerton. "(He) handed me four COVID tests and said you’re in the system, have a nice day.”
She said they were not prepared for a sudden quarantine.
“I had no way of backing up and there’s no backup plan," Beckerton said.
"What the officer did at the border took him three seconds, to put my life on hold for two weeks. I’ve tried to call all the phone numbers on the app and none of them were successful. I’ve emailed them and they’ve not responded."
She also reached out to her local MP, Carol Hughes, and was told there was nothing they could do.
When contacted by CTV News, Hughes said she has received several calls from constituents about the ArriveCan app, and is encouraging travellers to do their due diligence before leaving.
"There has to be a better avenue for communication," she said. "I think that it's important (for) travellers to make sure that they look at the website -- the government website -- to get all of the details that they need before they travel to try to prevent a lot of this hardship that’s been happening."
Beckerton said the most frustrating part about it all is that she can’t go to work right now.
"I have left my colleagues in a terrible bind and my job is very important and I can’t go to it and I’m perfectly healthy to work," she said.
"I want to work and I’m not allowed to leave the house. It’s completely unfair.”
Meantime, CTV News reached out to the Canada Border Services Agency who issued this statement:
"CBSA is unable to provide comment on specific cases and we cannot speculate on certain outcomes, as each traveller presents themselves to a border services officer under a different set of circumstances, with varying levels of information available,” said Louis-Carl Brissette Lesage, spokesperson for CBSA.