The Blue Water Maiden statue stands at the base of the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Mich., which connects to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The U.S. border agency says it does not consider COVID-19 vaccinations essential for entry purposes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Sancya
The Blue Water Maiden statue stands at the base of the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Mich., which connects to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The U.S. border agency says it does not consider COVID-19 vaccinations essential for entry purposes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Sancya

The Blue Water Maiden statue stands at the base of the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Mich., which connects to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The U.S. border agency says it does not consider COVID-19 vaccinations essential for entry purposes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Sancya The Blue Water Maiden statue stands at the base of the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Mich., which connects to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The U.S. border agency says it does not consider COVID-19 vaccinations essential for entry purposes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Sancya

Federal government hiking fines for hotel quarantine violators

Penalty set to rise from $3,000 to $5,000

The federal government is increasing the fine for air travellers who refuse to quarantine in a designated hotel for three days after arriving in Canada.

Travellers who had faced a $3,000 fine if they didn’t abide by the requirement will instead be liable for a $5,000 penalty starting on Thursday.

The move comes a week after a federal advisory panel raised a number of problems with the hotel quarantine and recommended the government end it.

The panel instead suggested travellers be required to quarantine in a hotel only if they fail to present a credible quarantine plan.

Hundreds of tickets have reportedly been doled out to violators since the hotel quarantine was first introduced in February.

The quarantine requirement has been criticized for several reasons, including whether it actually prevents the spread of COVID-19 and concerns many air travellers are avoiding the requirement by flying into the U.S. and driving into Canada.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Travel agencies report soaring bookings, but quarantine hotels hold people back

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