Frustrated Regina Travelers Search for Answers with ArriveCAN App Pipa News

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Travel can be stressful, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can sometimes be confusing, especially when other steps are added to your travel to-do list, such as filling out the ArriveCAN information for Canadian travelers.

But even so, there are people who are overcoming the technological hurdles associated with travel during a pandemic.

Regina citizens Don Chada and his wife are just some of the travelers who have become disillusioned with the ArriveCAN website.

ArriveCAN, which is available either online or via a downloadable mobile app, requires Canadians traveling abroad to provide mandatory travel and public health information before and after they enter Canada. The Government of Canada says that ArriveCAN “not only keeps travelers safe, but is part of our ongoing effort to modernize cross-border travel.”

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For Csadas, this has created a problem, given that they don’t have mobile data for their phones and only access the internet through their home computer.

“It’s very frustrating and you can’t get any answers,” Chada told Global News.

Chada said he and his wife, Caron, booked tickets to Mexico in December of this year before the implementation of the ArriveCAN app.

While they may receive support from their family to help them complete the required information before flying to Mexico, they will not have mobile phones or a place where they can access the Internet when they arrive at their destination.

Chada explained how this creates a problem for them as they would need to fill out the clues again at least 72 hours before flying home.

“There is no access, so we are trying to figure out if there should be another way to return to Canada,” Chada said. “If we can’t use the app, how do we get back home? There must be an alternative for this if people do not have the opportunity to use technology.”

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They were months away from their trip, Chad said, and he started calling to see what options he had.

He mentioned calling ArriveCAN support twice. The end result was a hang during both calls.

Chada said he also approached politicians at various levels and other organizations in the hope of finding a solution, but to no avail.

Now the couple are wondering what to do next – stick with their winter travel plans or cancel the trip.

Chada said he hopes to raise awareness of this issue affecting the elderly and others in need of accessibility.

“This is not just my story. There are other older people who will go through this once they know what they need to do to get back to Canada in the fall.”

ArriveCAN exemptions

The Government of Canada states that traveler information collected through ArriveCAN is of higher quality and generally more accurate than information collected by other means, such as paper forms.

In a statement provided to Global News by a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) spokesman, the government notes that without ArriveCAN, traveler processing times will increase “significantly” as CBSA staff will have to perform public health functions for each traveler manually. at the port of entry.

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“ArriveCAN is the fastest, easiest and safest way for travelers to demonstrate they are public health compliant, and an essential tool for the CBSA to assess traveler compliance and expedite the processing of travelers at the border,” the statement said.

The government says it recognizes that some Canadians may not be ready or aware of the need to use ArriveCAN.

As a result, the government introduced a new measure to deal with this problem.

“As of May 24, border officials at land ports of entry may apply a one-time exemption to fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and individuals registered under the Indians Entering Canada Act who have not completed the ArriveCAN form. “, the statement continues.

“This exemption allows CBSA more flexibility to provide travelers with no history of non-compliance who may not have been aware of the requirement to provide their mandatory health information through ArriveCAN, and means that a traveler entering by land will not be subject to quarantine, testing and penalties only once. All travelers granted this one-time exemption will be provided with information explaining their ArriveCAN obligations for future border crossings.”

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The CBSA adds that, following a one-time exemption, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and individuals registered under the Indian Act who do not provide their information through ArriveCAN will be subject to quarantine and testing, and may also be fined.

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“Since this assistance mechanism was introduced in ground mode, more than 300,000 travelers have taken advantage of it.”

However, the Government of Canada website highlights that some travelers may be exempt from the ArriveCAN requirement due to the need for accessibility.

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Concerns arise about ArriveCAN app potentially violating constitutional rights

Concerns arise about ArriveCAN app potentially violating constitutional rights

The website states that people who cannot use ArriveCAN due to accessibility will not be denied boarding or entry into Canada. Those who are released must be prepared to show the results of a preliminary entry test, if required, proof of vaccination and travel documents.

“All travelers arriving in Canada must use ArriveCAN to submit their information. With some limited exceptions, you can use the ArriveCAN alternative. You can provide information orally at the border or by filling out a paper form,” notes the ArriveCAN web page.

These exceptions include individuals with cognitive or physical impairments, inadequate infrastructure, service interruptions or natural disasters such as ArriveCAN outages, asylum seekers and resettled refugees.

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As of August 10, 2022, more than 25.5 million applications have been submitted through ArriveCAN, according to the statement.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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