Two travellers who tried to enter Canada using fake vaccination certificates have been fined a total of nearly CAD $40,000 for non-compliance with entry requirements. The passengers, who tried to sneak past immigration officials at Toronto Pearson Airport after flying in from the United States, were fined $19,720 each.
As well as falsifying vaccination credentials, the two travellers also falsified negative pre-departure tests certificates which are required from all passengers trying to enter Canada.
Since July 5, Canada has eased some entry rules for eligible Fully Vaccinated Travellers, allowing them to skip a three day stay in hotel quarantine at their own expense. Travellers hoping to take advantage of the exemption must submit their vaccination documents in advance via the ArriveCAN app.
“Each traveller received four fines—a total of $19,720 for each traveller—for providing false information related to proof of vaccination credentials and pre-departure tests, as well as, for non-compliance with the requirement to stay at a government-authorized accommodation and on-arrival testing requirements,” the Public Health Agency of Canada said on Friday.
“The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) works closely with domestic and international partners to detect and intercept fraudulent documents. The CBSA also works with PHAC to ensure only valid proof of vaccine documents are accepted,” a statement from the agency continued.
The fines these two travellers received is just a drop in the ocean compared to the maximum penalties available. Officials warned that anyone who submits Fake Vaccination Documents could face a maximum fine of $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both under the Quarantine Act.
Canada intends to reopen non-essential travel to fully vaccinated Americans from August 9 and will extend the same exemption to all other fully vaccinated travellers beginning September 7.
Travellers will need to be fully vaccinated with a vaccine currently approved for use in Canada: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
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