Two travellers have been fined more than $20,000 each for using fake vaccine credentials and COVID-19 test results to travel into Canada.
Canada’s public health agency said the travellers were issued four fines each after they arrived in Toronto from the US on 18 July.
The travellers submitted false information related to proof of vaccination and pre-departure tests so they could skip on-arrival testing and a compulsory requirement to stay at a government-approved hotel.
Canada loosened its entry requirements on 5 July for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers who meet certain criteria, allowing them to skip a compulsory three-night stay at an authorised hotel.
Those who are not vaccinated need to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before arrival, take a molecule test upon arrival and provide a 14-day quarantine plan for after the compulsory hotel stay.
Vaccinated travellers still need to provide a quarantine plan in case they don’t get the exemption and take a pre-entry test.
“All travellers arriving in Canada are obligated by Canadian law to respond truthfully to all questions,” the Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement.
“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 offence and may result in fines and/or criminal charges.”
Violating Canadian quarantine or isolation instructions can lead to serious penalties of between $5,500 and $800,000 in fines or six months in prison, or both.
In the case of these two travellers, each have been fined nearly $US16,000 (roughly $22,000).
Canada plans to extend the relaxed entry restrictions to fully vaccinated travellers from the US and to all other vaccinated foreign nationals on 7 September.
A spokesperson for Canada Health told NBC News that the two people who used the fake credentials were Canadian citizens.
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