ArriveCAN App Telling Some Vaccinated Travellers to Quarantine for No Reason

Another wave of fully-vaccinated travellers are being ordered to quarantine by the ArriveCAN app upon re-entry into Canada, despite not testing positive for COVID-19 or showing any symptoms — reports The National Post.

David Crouch, a resident of Ridgeway, Ontario, who has received all his COVID shots, was able to drive back into Canada just fine last week. However, he came home to an email and a notification in his ArriveCAN app demanding that he quarantine.

This isn’t even the first time Crouch has been inconvenienced by some glitch in the app. The ArriveCAN app has previously made him do random tests, which he said take up to three hours to arrange.

It has been a while since Canada eased up COVID-19 restrictions for travellers, so many are questioning why they are still being required to use the ArriveCAN app to cross the border. Even border agents seem to agree. Last month, the union that represents Canada’s border agents said the app is causing delays and has reduced officers to tech support.

Crouch eventually contacted his MP, Conservative Tony Baldinelli, who said he has heard many similar cases. Baldinelli, who represents Niagara Falls, said even when the app is working as designed it is harming border communities.

The government, meanwhile, appears to be more concerned with usage statistics than ArriveCAN’s actual performance.

“Use of ArriveCan is extremely high — according to our most recent statistics, it was successfully used by 99.52 per cent of those travelling by air and 89.20 per cent of those travelling by land,” said Audrey Champoux, press secretary to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.

She wouldn’t comment on any specific cases, only going as far as to acknowledge that there have been some problems with the app. Last week, St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle also dismissed concerns regarding the ArriveCAN app.

“ArriveCan has been a disaster for our community in terms of its impact on our tourism community,” said Baldinelli. “Our two communities are highly integrated. So we’ve got a lot of people who, for example, will live here and work in the United States or live in the United States and work in Canada.”

Members of the hospitality industry are also arguing the ArriveCAN app is crippling tourism revenue in border communities. Doug Birrell, executive director of the Niagara Falls Canada Hotel Association, urged Ottawa to scrap the ArriveCAN app last week or tourists won’t make the trip to his community.

“Unless the government reverses course and allows normal tourism entry through land borders and air corridors, we will never get our business back,” he said.

Ottawa officially discontinued the $21 million COVID Alert app last month due to low uptake, and there’s a long list of people hoping the ArriveCAN app is next.