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Two travelers fined for allegedly trying to use fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to enter Canada

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Posted at 9:07 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 09:07:00-04

Canada's Public Health Agency says it fined two travelers who attempted to enter the country from the U.S. after providing fake vaccination records to border officials.

In a statement released Friday, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said that the two travelers landed at the Toronto airport on July 18. While the PHAC did not identify the passengers, NBC News reports that they were Canadian citizens.

Upon arrival, the two passengers presented vaccination documents to border officials, which officials confirmed to be falsified.

The travelers were fined for "providing false information related to proof of vaccination credentials and pre-departure tests," as well as "for non-compliance with the requirement to stay at a government-authorized accommodation and on-arrival testing requirements."

The two travelers were fined nearly $20,000, which equates to about $16,000 dollars in the U.S.

While it's unclear how officials determined that the vaccination cards that the travelers presented were fake, the PHAC said in its statement that the "Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) works closely with domestic and international partners to detect and intercept fraudulent documents."

Travel into Canada has been highly restricted to only "essential travel" since the start of the pandemic.

All travelers into the country must comply with several COVID-19 restrictions, though those who are vaccinated can waive some of those restrictions. Those travelers must be fully vaccinated (two weeks removed from their final dose), get a COVID-19 test prior to entry and get a COVID-19 test upon arrival.

The country also asks that travelers plan ahead in the event they need to quarantine.

On Aug. 9, Canada will lift more travel restrictions, meaning that certain fully vaccinated Americans can travel into the country.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering