Canada fines U.S. travelers for providing false COVID-19 vaccination status documentation

Canada announced Friday it fined two travelers from the U.S. nearly $20,000 each for violating a series of coronavirus-related travel requirements.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said each traveler was fined $19,720, or about $15,800 in U.S. dollars, for not complying with a number of entry requirements upon recently arriving in Toronto, Ontario.

Each traveler provided false information related to proof of vaccination credentials and pre-departure tests, the Public Health Agency of Canada stated in a news release.

Each also failed to comply with a rule that requires travelers to stay at government-authorized accommodations and another that requires they promptly be tested for COVID-19 upon entering, the agency said.

Canada has imposed several travel rules and restrictions since last year meant to limit the spread within its borders of COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

In addition to closing off Canada to foreigners except for ones doing essential business, many of those eligible to enter have been required to test repeatedly for COVID-19 and quarantine upon arrival.

Canada recently lifted some of those rules for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and has said that fully vaccinated Americans may enter for “discretionary,” or non-essential, travel starting Aug. 9.

In the meantime, fully vaccinated travelers eligible to enter Canada are required to first electronically submit proof of their vaccination status to Ottawa using a special phone app called “ArriveCAN.”

“Providing false information and/or documents to a Government of Canada official upon entry to Canada or making false statements or presenting fraudulent documents, such as vaccination credentials, is a serious offense and may result in fines and/or criminal charges,” the Public Health Agency said in the news release.

“For all travelers coming to Canada, it is important to be informed and to plan in advance. It is the traveler’s responsibility to ensure they are eligible to enter Canada and that they meet all of the mandatory requirements,” the agency added. “The Government of Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted to protect the health of Canadians from the further spread of COVID-19 and its variants of concern.”

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