quarantine hotels in toronto

Canada has already spent more than $37M on hotels to quarantine travellers

Canada is doling out some serious cash on quarantine hotels for travellers who have nowhere else to self-isolate. 

On Wednesday, CBC reported that over 3,000 returning Canadians have spent their 14-day isolation period at a hotel that was paid for by the federal government.

Currently, there are 16 federally designated and supported quarantine sites across Canada located in the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, said Tammy Jarbeau, senior media relations advisor at the Public Health Agency of Canada in a written statement to Freshdaily.

Specific hotel names and locations could not be given to protect travellers' privacy.

"When deemed necessary by a public health officer designated under the Quarantine Act, and only when travellers are confirmed to have no other suitable quarantine or isolation options available, a traveller may be transferred to a federal designated quarantine facility," Jarbeau said.

"This measure is used only as a last resort. Before travellers are admitted to a quarantine facility, government representatives will work with them to ensure that all other options for quarantine accommodations within their own means have been exhausted."

She went on to say that between April 1 and July 29, providing this service has cost the government more than $37 million. 

According to travellers who opened up to CBC, the mid-range hotels are located near airports.

"When travellers are in a quarantine facility, they are provided with three meals daily and other essentials. All of these items are delivered to their rooms," Jarbeau said. 

While there, guests must do two health checks per day, which include nurses taking temperatures and asking a series of screening questions. If anyone shows symptoms of COVID-19, they are moved to a lower floor. 

A concern among those who've made use of the facilities is the fact that they are not publicized and that the option is not known to many people. When asked why that is, Jarbeau said that there is no federal quarantine facility program.

"We expect that most travellers will quarantine in their own home or in the same place they are visiting in Canada. If this is not possible, travellers are responsible for making alternative arrangements for quarantine accommodations."

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