Canadians returning home from red-zone countries neglected at quarantine facilities


Several Canadians coming back from red-zone countries said they are being neglected by hotel staff during their quarantine. In a video taken at a quarantine facility, hotel guests can be heard yelling for help. One woman with a seven-year-old child screaming, “shame on you” as staff ignores her.

Sarah Shoucri has been quarantined in a hotel since returning home from Nigeria on Monday. She is double vaccinated and took a PCR test before leaving Africa and another in Frankfurt, Germany during a layover – both results came back negative. Back in Montreal, she is waiting for a third negative test result before she can return home. Shourci said that hotels are not able to accommodate the large number of people currently in quarantine at the facility causing major interruptions in services. According to hotel guests, meals were delayed, causing some to go without food for nine hours. "I'm basically rationing my food in case meals don't come," said Shourci. She considers the situation a mismanagement of public funds.

A woman, currently 18 weeks pregnant, who wanted to remain anonymous said that she was stuck in her room without any food or water. "There was no food on site, there was no water in the rooms, there was no water in the building," she said. She criticized the government for being disorganized concerning the lack of access to food and water in a quarantine facility.She was returning home from Nigeria after visiting family when travel restrictions suddenly changed. She said her basic needs are not being met during a mandatory government health and safety protocol. She has not yet received her PCR test result which will delay her flight back home to Ottawa.

"There was a big increase in travellers from red zones, so that explains a bit of the rush […] Our job is to support the travellers the best we can. We're not making the rules," said Jean-Sebastien Pariseau, spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross. On Friday alone, 45 people had to be quarantined with an additional 100 travellers on Monday. Pariseau said that there are seven workers on site from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to accommodate guests and that food delivery was late on Monday because of bad weather.

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