An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
DESPITE ALL THE WHINING of those who don’t like COVID-19 mandates, for the most part they have been necessary and effective. We need to continue to be cautious because, as we’re constantly told by health experts, the pandemic isn’t over.
Regardless, a lot of the restrictions that hung over us for a couple of years have been lifted. Our domestic mobility has pretty much returned to normal. Few people wear masks anymore during routine daily outings.
The gradual emergence from mandates is creating anomalies, and the ArriveCAN travel app is one of them. The federal government has extended it for another month, and woe betide any unfortunate international traveller who fails — intentionally or not — to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s.
Anyone failing to properly submit proof of vaccination using the ArriveCAN app upon returning home can be fined $5,000.
How about the Montreal couple ordered into a 14-day quarantine because they forgot to fill out ArriveCAN after a day-trip to the U.S.?
The problem with international travel right now is that it’s such a complicated ragbag of must-do’s, can’t do’s, old rules, cancelled rules and new rules that you need a doctorate in travel science to figure them out.
In hopes I might one day emerge from my COVID cocoon and venture into the big, wide world again, I applied for ArriveCAN. It isn’t easy. I’m pretty sure I’m registered but I still don’t know how to use the damn thing.
Have you ever tried reading the government’s COVID travel requirements? They’re chalk full of “available options,” “random mandatory arrival test” protocols, suggestions and absolute musts.
When and if I travel again, I’ll feel safer if my fellow passengers are vaccinated and masked. It’s not the concept of ArriveCAN that’s the problem — it’s just a tool, but as it stands it’s not a good one.
It either has to be streamlined and simplified, or scrapped.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.