PHAC has 'pulled back' 16 of 30 tickets issued to B.C. residents for U.S. travel
OTTAWA -- The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has “pulled back” 16 of the 30 tickets it issued in error in the last 24 hours to B.C. residents who were coming back from the U.S. and were exempt from the Quarantine Act.
In a statement to CTVNews.ca, the agency said it is working to quickly review all cases involving travellers who had gone south for essential supplies due to supply chain issues in the province caused by extreme flooding.
“PHAC reviewed the 30 tickets that were issued in the region in the past 24 hours and has pulled back 16 – a total of 14 were duly issued [Monday],” reads a statement sent Tuesday evening.
“PHAC continues to review all tickets issued since the beginning of the emergency situation in B.C. to ensure that PHAC officers used their full discretion when deciding the best instrument to enforce the Quarantine Act.”
After speaking with his provincial counterparts, Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair announced over the weekend that those living in border towns could pick up gas, food, or medicine in the U.S. and return without presenting the required negative PCR test or quarantining.
However, some residents following the direction still got fined as much as $5,750 for not complying with the rules.
Blair told reporters on Tuesday that he has spoken with the president of the Canada Border Services Agency and cleared up any confusion.
“That direction was given to the border services agencies, but clearly some clarification was required and that’s now been given,” he said.
The move accelerates an already planned expiration of the PCR test for Canadians travelling abroad for less than 72 hours, set to begin Nov. 30.
PHAC added that any traveller that has received a ticket, and believes their circumstances warranted the use of the exemption related to the situation in B.C., should contest the ticket.
“The process to contest a ticket received at the border is printed on the ticket itself,” the statement reads.