Ottawa Admits ArriveCAN App Sent Quarantine Alerts by Mistake

The federal government has admitted that the ArriveCAN app erroneously sent out quarantine notifications to travellers early last week even though they were fully vaccinated and showed no signs of COVID-19 upon crossing into Canada — reports Global News.

Ottawa claims the notifications were the result of a “technical glitch” with the app that has since been fixed. False quarantine orders were sent out to approximately 3% of travellers, and the issue interestingly only affected iPhones.

“The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has identified a technical glitch with the app that affected some users earlier in the week, which could produce an erroneous notification instructing people to quarantine,” government spokesperson Alex Cohen said in a written statement.

“It’s important to emphasize that CBSA and (public health) officials – and not the app – are the ones who determine if an individual is subject to public health restrictions and needs to quarantine.”

Earlier this week, the president of the union that represents Canada’s border agents said that 30-40% of travellers don’t fill out the ArriveCAN app properly or don’t use it at all.

The government’s insistence on the continued use of the app, coupled with people not taking it seriously, is resulting in long lines and delays at Canadian borders. What’s more, border agents are spending more time helping travellers get ArriveCAN sorted than doing their actual jobs.

The ArriveCAN app has also been accused of harming businesses in border communities by discouraging cross-border travel.

Many are calling for ArriveCAN to be axed, and travellers are wondering why they still have to use the app when COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted across the country.

The feds, meanwhile, want to keep ArriveCAN on long after the pandemic is over, using it as a pre-customs screening tool to decrease processing times at the border. Ottawa’s plans are concerning, given how notoriously unreliable the app currently is.

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