A Saskatoon man said his children, ages six and nine, who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, have been incorrectly told to self-isolate for two weeks when they come home from leave.
Before a family trip to Mexico during the holidays, Blaire Hornung tried to get all his ducks in a row to have an effective cross-border travel experience, especially for his two children. He reached out to the Canada Border Services Agency when the ArriveCan app denied children’s vaccination certificates.
“I spoke to a gentleman and he said it would be OK, if we can’t put a child vaccination guide on the app, I can use an alternate guide, which I did,” Hornung said.
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But when the family returned from their trip to Saskatoon Airport on January 7, Dealing with border agents has never been so easy.
“I showed her one of my child guides through Sask Vax and she said she wasn’t sure and asked the guy next to her. Then she said ‘ok I have to give you a one day and eight day test through Canadian Health and you’re going to have to test your kids on day one and eight, and they’re going to have to isolate them’ for two weeks.”
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In the following days, Hornung tried to clarify isolation procedures for fully vaccinated travelers under the age of 12, but was only able to find information on unvaccinated children.
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“It’s so confusing because you can’t get anyone. There’s no one you can contact at Canadian Health. If you call anyone on the ArriveCan app, they’re talking from a script. They can’t actually make any decisions.”
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Global News reached out to the office of the Federal Minister of Health for clarification on the matter, but they were not available for comment by the publication deadline. However, they cited federal guidance showing that even unvaccinated children can be exempted from quarantine if they travel with a fully vaccinated guardian.
But on Thursday, the family got the answer they were looking for. After six days of isolation and three days missing from school, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has finally cleared children who are actually exempt from quarantine.
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“So many people I was finally able to talk to, I actually knew more than they did which made me really frustrated. I was doing my due diligence and trying to check things before we went. All the boxes were unchecked but when we got home we had to deal With what we’re dealing with now.”
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Hornung was asked why he took the risk of dealing with the hardships of travel during the pandemic.
“Because we were told we could. We were told it wasn’t illegal. We were told if we were following all the right things we could travel, it was time to travel. We wanted to travel. We wanted to get away during the break.”
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