Two travellers who falsified their proof-of-vaccination documents have been fined $20,000 each for entering Canada with the fraudulent credentials.
The Canadian Public Health Agency reported that the travellers provided falsified proof-of-vaccination and pre-departure test screens, and did not comply with on-arrival testing protocols or a requirement that they stay in a government-approved accommodation.
The travellers were visiting Toronto from the US and incurred fines equalling $19,720 each.
The Washington Post reported that both of the travellers were Canadian citizens, but their identities were not revealed by the health agency.
“All travellers arriving in Canada are obligated by Canadian law to respond truthfully to all questions,” the agency said in a press release.
The government said that “providing false information and/or documents to a Government of Canada official upon entry to Canada or making false statements or presenting fraudulent documents, such as vaccination credentials, is a serious offence and may result in fines and/or criminal charges”.
People that provide fraudulent documents to the Canadian government can incur fines of up to $750,000, six months in prison, or both.
“The Government of Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted to protect the health of Canadians from the further spread of Covid-19 and its variants of concern,” the agency said in a statement.
Health policies regulating international travellers were eased on 5 July, and on 9 August fully vaccinated Americans will be allowed to enter the country for non-essential travel if they follow the government's requirements.
Those requirements include a pre-entry Covid-19 test currently, though that condition will be lifted for vaccinated travellers after 9 August.
The current requirement that travellers arriving by air undergo a three-day quarantine in government-approved housing will also be lifted on 9 August.
The Canadian government plans to fully re-open to vaccinated travellers so long as they have taken a vaccine approved by the country's health officials, and who meet the additional entry requirements.
On 30 July, Canada reported 907 new cases of the coronavirus, significantly fewer than the US, where 102,975 cases were reported.
The incident is yet another example of travel confrontations brought on by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Flights have been grounded when passengers have refused to wear masks on flights, and in some cases individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus have knowingly boarded planes to avoid having to change their vacation plans.