Transport Canada fines two individuals for presenting fraudulent COVID-19 pre-departure test results

News release

May 6, 2021               Ottawa               Transport Canada

Pre-departure testing of air travellers is a key component of the Government of Canada’s measures to protect Canadians from COVID-19, and helps prevent air travel from being a source for the spread of the virus.

Transport Canada has issued fines to two individual passengers for presenting false or misleading COVID-19 pre-departure tests.

The first passenger was fined $6,500 for presenting an altered COVID-19 test and knowingly boarding a flight from the Dominican Republic to Toronto on February 8, 2021. In this case, the passenger also made a false declaration to the air carrier about their health status.

The second passenger was fined $2,500 for presenting an altered COVID-19 test and knowingly boarding a flight from the United States to Toronto on April 3, 2021.

Under the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, air travellers are prohibited from knowingly providing false or misleading COVID-19 test documentation. Under the Order, travellers must obtain a negative result on a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of boarding any flight inbound to Canada or a proof of a positive test result within at least 14 days and no more than 90 days prior to arrival, and present the results to the air crew prior to boarding their flight. Any passenger failing to comply with the Interim Order could be subject to fines of up to $5,000 per violation.

The Government of Canada continues to strongly advise Canadians that this is not the time to travel. Transport Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported to the department and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted.

Quick facts

  • Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Government of Canada, public health authorities, and the Canadian aviation industry – including operators, airports and labour groups – have worked collaboratively to implement measures to reduce the spread of the virus, and to protect the travelling public.

  • These fines are in addition to previously issued fines under the Interim Order, including:

    • Two passengers on a flight to Canada from Mexico on January 23, 2021, who were fined $10,000 and $7,000 respectively for presenting a false or misleading COVID-19 test and for making a false declaration about their health status;
    • One passenger on a flight to Canada from Mexico on January 18, 2021, who was fined $1,000 for failing to provide the air carrier with evidence that they received a negative result for a COVID-19 molecular test that was performed on a specimen collected no more than 72 hours before the aircraft’s initial scheduled departure time; and
    • One passenger on a flight to Canada from Germany on February 25, 2021, who was fined $2,500 for failing to respect a mandatory quarantine order and for making a false declaration about their health status.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  • Air carriers who have reason to believe that a passenger has provided a document that is likely to be false or misleading must report the incident to Transport Canada.

  • Where questions arise with regards to a traveller’s COVID-19 molecular test, the Canada Border Services Agency officers will refer travellers to the Public Health Agency of Canada for assessment. Should it be determined that the document is likely false or misleading, the matter is referred to Transport Canada for an investigation under the Aeronautics Act.

  • Between April 19 and April 25, 2021, 29,485 travellers entered Canada by air mode. This is an approximate decrease of 96% in air travel crossings as compared to the same period in 2019.

  • As of April 25, 2021, over 99% of travellers arriving by air were compliant or exempt from the pre-board testing requirements.

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
media@tc.gc.ca
613-993-0055

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