Elderly Canadian couple fighting fines for hotel quarantine refusal after return from JamaicaMonday, September 13, 2021
ONTARIO, Canada - An elderly Canadian couple who were fined a combined CAD$12,510 (approximately J$1.4 million) for refusing to quarantine in a hotel after they arrived in that country from Jamaica in July will be contesting the penalties imposed on them.
Glen Perry, 87, and his 80-year-old wife, Thelma, both of Barrie in Ontario, Canada, have opted to contest the fines in court, despite being offered financial support to pay the sum.
"I want to prove a point to [the government]," Thelma Perry told Canada's CBC News.
"They (the government) have their rights, and I have my rights too," she was quoted as saying in an interview.
According to the report from CBC News, on July 4, the couple, who are fully vaccinated, flew to Toronto after spending "about six months doing missionary work with several interdenominational churches in Jamaica".
Perry claimed that she and her husband were not aware of Canada's hotel quarantine requirement before they travelled home.
"From February 22 to July 4, the government mandated that all non-essential air passengers to Canada take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and spend part of their quarantine in a designated hotel — at their own expense — to wait for their test results," the report said.
On their arrival at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto, the Perrys were informed that they will have to quarantine at a hotel, but instead, they refused.
Consequently, they were each fined "CAD$$6,255." That figure entailed "CAD$5,000 for the violation, plus added fees," the report stated.
The couple were fined approximately "two hours" before the Canadian federal government ended the hotel quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travellers.
In response to that development that had befallen the couple, Thelma Perry said she had felt "safer" doing the 14-day quarantine at her house, as other passengers at the airport had claimed that some quarantine hotels had been hit with COVID-19 outbreaks.
In relation to the fines, Perry described them as being "outrageous," adding that "We're going to fight it. I want the judge to hear me out, because I don't think this ticket is fair."
In the meantime, the couple's daughter, Joan Trensch, lamented that "the fines total roughly half her parents' yearly combined pension income".
She questioned: "How can they live on what they live on and then pay this fine?"
Approximately 4,000 Canadians have been fined for the controversial hotel quarantine breach in Ottawa, according to CBC News. Several other citizens who were also fined for refusing hotel quarantine, are also contesting being ticketed for the breach, the report indicated.
The Canadian government had introduced the hotel quarantine requirement to combat the spread of COVID-19z especially its deadly variant.
However, due to increased criticisms and scrutiny, the government began allowing fully vaccinated travellers to skip hotel quarantine on July 5, while Ottawa skipped the requirement for all travellers on August 9.
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