Effective June 4, air travellers returning to Canada who refuse to quarantine in a government-approved hotel can be fined $5,000 — a $2,000 increase from the prior $3,000 fine.

The government has said the mandatory hotel stay itself can cost travellers approximately $2,000 of their own money. In Montreal, approved hotels include the Baymont by Wyndham Montreal Airport, Embassy Suites by Hilton Montreal Airport and Comfort Inn Dorval.

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On May 28, a COVID-19 federal advisory panel's report noted several issues with the government's mandatory quarantining policy — notably, that a hotel quarantine of up to three days is "inconsistent with the incubation period of SARS-CoV-2."

In March, a spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada told MTL Blog the government was aware that some travellers were choosing to be fined rather than paying for a three-night hotel stay.

The spokesperson said these travellers would be referred to local law enforcement for priority follow-up.

The advisory committee pointed out that those who refuse to accept the mandatory hotel stay may not be adhering to quarantining in their own homes, instead.

According to the advisory committee report, due to the fact that land travellers are not required to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine, some travellers are landing at U.S. airports and crossing into Canada by land.