Families, partners separated by pandemic plea for exemption from cost of hotel quarantine
KITCHENER -- Loved ones separated by distance and borders say they should be exempt from the cost of pricey hotel quarantine stays that the federal government recently mandated.
Waterloo resident Nicole Ross hasn’t seen her American partner Kyle Hock since March. She fears that, with the new hotel quarantine stays, that could stretch on much longer.
“It's very disheartening. Every time you think it's going to get better, it's just heartbreaking all over again,” says Ross.
Under the newly announced federal restrictions, anyone flying into Canada must isolate for three days at a government-approved hotel at their own expense of $2,000.
“I had been saving money to be able to take the time off work to do it, but now with it costing over $2,000 to stay in a hotel, it's just undoable,” she adds.
It’s a rule that Faces of Advocacy member Sarah Taylor says unfairly targets lower income families.
“We need to make families essential travel and not charge them this $2,000, it’s ridiculous. Families can't afford that,” says Taylor.
During the pandemic, the Stratford-native was initially separated from her British fiancé Jacob while in the midst of her battle with cancer. After lobbying the government, the couple was eventually able to reunite and get married.
“It affects your mental health. It affects your physical health, it affects every part of you when you can't be with your life partner,” explains Taylor.
The group suggests that the government allow families and partners to apply for exemptions from the cost of the stays.
“Family should be made an exception, because family is a lot different than going to Disney World,” adds Ross.
A spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada says that the government "will provide further details in the coming days on these new measures for testing and quarantine requirements, as well as the travel restrictions."
The timing of when these new rules go in effect is still up in the air.