May 25th, 2024

Southern Alberta couple in quarantine frustrated by ArriveCan app system

By A Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on December 11, 2021.


A Magrath couple is speaking out after ending up in quarantine following a visit to their daughter’s cabin in Montana.
The couple in their 80s, who don’t want their names used, said they aren’t the only ones they know who have found themselves in trouble because they didn’t fill out the ArriveCan app perfectly before returning to Canada. The couple know several others in the Magrath and Del Bonita areas who are similarly frustrated.
The woman, 85, said for elderly people, the ArriveCAN app isn’t that easy.
“People are doing the best they can,” she said. She and her 88-year-old husband had a COVID test done before returning to Canada following a six-day stay at their daughter’s cabin but inputted something wrong into the app and are now in their eighth day of quarantine.
“You get one question wrong on the app and you’re in isolation for 14 days whether you’ve had the test before you came back or not. We were in Montana for six days and we did all the COVID tests. We had to drive to Polson to get it because you couldn’t get one at Whitefish or Kalispell. So we drove the 50 miles there and back.”
Information on ArriveCan has to be submitted within 72 hours before people cross the border into Canada.
The woman said Customs wouldn’t accept the test “and so here we are Christmas coming and you can’t go out to get a loaf of bread even,” she said.
“Talk about incompetent. We took Day 1 tests, we took Day 8 tests and this morning, it says my results are in for the day but the password never works (on the health app they use). You always have to get a code and this time they’re not even sending me a code. They’re so backed up,” she said.
Travellers can be given either a Day 8 home collection kit at the border or kits for Day 1 and 8.
“There are so many things that are wrong. They’re penalizing people who have done things right but they’ve missed one question on that ArriveCan app. They’re travelling and they’re doing the best they can,” she said.
After Nov. 30, a COVID test became unnecessary if people are going to be out of Canada for fewer than 72 hours “but you still have to fill in ArriveCan and you have to do it exactly correct to what they think is their standard,” she said.
“They’re catching people that are absolutely healthy and confining us to our homes. I haven’t been out of my home but via telephone I’ve heard about five or seven people I know in Magrath that have been pulled into the office and grilled and everything else.
“It’s so unjustified, there’s no rhyme nor reason to it. Every time I go into this Switch Health thing I have to put my password, but it won’t ever work. They’ve got to send me a link which I put in,” she added.
And the couple is regularly getting phone calls checking on their welfare which she feels is a waste of taxpayer money.
“Yesterday morning, 15 minutes on the phone asking for our welfare. Do we have food? Do we get fresh air? Have we been out of the house, have we had visitors? You can be fined $5,000, you can go to jail. We are over 80, jail would save us a lot of money maybe,” she laughed.
“We are supposed to call ArriveCan every day. I have not done it, I’ve tried and not got through,” she said.
“It’s so unjust, it’s so overkill. If COVID doesn’t get ya, the restrictions will. It’s so unnecessary and unjustified and ridiculous.
“It’s been very stressful, very hard on your mental well-being.
“We’re really at the mercy of the courts,” she said.
Earlier this week federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said he had instructed the Canadian Border Services Agency to give travellers the opportunity to give their information in person at the border if they’ve forgotten or haven’t been able to use the ArriveCan app.
– with files from The Canadian Press


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pursuit diver

They have some valid points that show that there needs to be more common sense and willingness to assist Canadians returning. Seniors even have issues downloading the AB QR code, so this is even harder to understand. The questions should be direct and easy for any to understand, but there should be someone to assist if people are having issues.
After saying that, we are still in a state of public health emergency, which has been enacted to protect Canadians and reduce the number of lives lost to COVID.
Many have cheated returning to Canada, causing Border officials to stand firm on rules and regulations. Let’s not forget that people die from COVID and if not, many suffer long lasting effects from it.
You can come in contact with someone with COVID just as easily on short distance, few day trips as you can on several week trips. If you travel, when there still is a state of public health emergency and concerns of a new variant on the rise, be prepared to border closures, even to Canadians, because nothing is for sure anymore!
Be prepared for changes in restrictions! We are not out of this as many think and the threat, even for fully vaccinated is there!
I see people out shopping, bumping into to people, with phlegmy coughs and often they lower their mask to cough ( are you stupid ) and then say, don’t worry, it isn’t COVID, I was tested! So you want to infect everyone with what you have, reducing their immune system, making them more susceptible to COVID?
You can’t cure Stupid!