Montreal woman forced to quarantine after forgetting to fill out ArriveCAN travel app

Yousra Andre is nearly one week into a 14-day quarantine after a border agent in Quebec told her she would need to isolate because she had forgotten to submit her vaccination information on ArriveCAN. That's despite her being fully vaccinated and having proof.

Yousra André is fully vaccinated, showed proof to border agent

A smiling woman and her dog in a park.
Yousra André has been in quarantine for nearly a week since travelling from the U.S. with friends. (Submitted Yousra André)

Yousra André is nearly one week into a 14-day quarantine, just because she forgot to submit her vaccination information on the ArriveCAN app.

The Montreal woman is fully vaccinated but has been forced to stay at home since Monday, the day she crossed the border from the U.S. with her two friends on their way to Montreal.

All three travellers were fully vaccinated but forgot to fill out their information on ArriveCan, the app travelers must fill out within 72 hours of their arrival to prove they're fully vaccinated.

Though André's friends were let through without issue, she said she was ordered to quarantine at home for two weeks. That's despite all of them having their proof of vaccination on hand.

"We were like 'No, we forgot, can we do it now?'" and he just looked at me and was like "No, it's too late now," André said Friday.

She's not able to get to work, walk her dog or get to her upcoming medical appointments because of the quarantine.

Meanwhile, just this Thursday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that using the ArriveCAN app will become optional by the end of September.

"It's completely absurd, I feel like I'm living in a nightmare," André said.

A hand holds a smartphone showing the ArriveCAN app.
As a COVID-19 safety measure, travellers have been asked to use the ArriveCAN app to submit their vaccination information within 72 hours before their arrival to Canada. (Sue Goodspeed/CBC)

André said she doesn't understand why border agents singled her out. 

"When we asked wh, he said it was because I had travelled [a lot] before," she said, adding her friends had also travelled recently as well.

Sorraya Guembyt was in the passenger seat of the same car and says the decision seemed illogical.

"The agent could have asked for us to do it right away — they did not," she said.

"The agent at the border said 'It's kind of like if you're speeding and you're getting a ticket, and then the person who sped is requesting to drive back so that they can go slower.'"

No way to appeal

In a statement the Canada Border Services Agency said it's up to individual border officers' discretion whether to impose a quarantine on a traveller.

However,on its website it says that while there are penalties for not using the app, exceptions can also be made for those unaware of the requirement, something Guembyt also emphasized.

André has been trying to reach officials to see if her quarantine can be revoked, but hasn't had any success yet.

"The problem is how much power border agents have," she said. "Not having any way to appeal is a problem."

Based on a report by Sharon Yonan-Renold