Canadian health officials have fined two travelers thousands of dollars after determining that they had presented fake documents showing Covid-19 vaccinations and pre-departure Covid tests, the first fines of their kind to be issued by Canada.
The travelers, Canadian citizens whom the authorities did not name, arrived in Toronto by air from the United States during the week of July 18. Each was fined a total 19,720 Canadian dollars (about $15,700) for failing to comply with travel protocols and for presenting fraudulent documents, Canada’s public health agency said Tuesday.
Public health offenses in Canada can result in fines of 5,000 Canadian dollars ($4,000) a day for each offense; more serious breaches can be punished by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to 750,000 Canadian dollars.
Canada is gearing up to reopen its border on Monday to U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated permanent residents. The United States will keep border restrictions in place for nonessential travel at land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through Aug. 21.
Sixty percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated, and 72 percent have received at least one dose, according to data compiled by The New York Times.
Canada’s health ministry said last week that the country had received more than 66 million doses of vaccine in all, enough to fully vaccinate every eligible Canadian. It represented a drastic rebound from the sluggish start to the country’s vaccination campaign, which was hampered in part by shortages.
Travelers will only be granted entry if the vaccines they received have been approved in Canada, a list that includes the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines and those from the Serum Institute of India and Janssen, the brand used in Canada by Johnson & Johnson.