Migrant workers and other essential travellers won’t have to pay to quarantine

Published in iPolitics on February 1, 2021

Migrant workers and other essential travellers arriving in Canada won’t be required to pay out of pocket to quarantine at hotels under new travel rules announced Friday.

International travellers arriving in the country will soon have to wait for up to three days at a government-approved hotel while they wait for their COVID-19 test results. The new requirement will take effect once mandatory PCR testing is available at airports in the coming weeks.

Travellers would have to be quarantined “at their own expense, which is expected to be more than $2,000,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters outside Rideau Cottage on Friday.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra’s office later clarified to iPolitics that essential travellers, such as migrant workers, will be exempt from the new requirement.

Advocacy group Citizens for Public Justice said Friday that requiring refugees to pay for their hotel quarantine would put a stop to refugee resettlement.

“Refugee sponsors have not budgeted, and do not have the money, to cover this extra cost,” said Stephen Kaduuli, a refugee-rights policy analyst with the group, in a statement.