A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

30 cases of fraud since COVID tests became mandatory to enter Canada: CBSA

Proof of vaccination does not cancel out the requirement for a test

The Canada Border Services Agency said it suspects that 30 of the COVID-19 tests presented by people entering Canada have been fraudulent.

In an email Monday (March 29), the CBSA said that since a pre-flight COVID tests became mandatory on Jan. 7, the agency has discovered 10 cases of suspected fraudulent test result documents. Since COVID tests became mandatory prior to land entry on Feb. 15, the CBSA said it has intercepted 20 suspected fraudulent tests.

The only results accepted by the CBSA are from molecular tests:

  • PCR – Polymerase chain reaction
  • RT-PCR – reverse transcription real time PCR
  • Quantitative PCR (qPCR)
  • Nucleic acid test (NAT) or Nucleic acid amplification test (NAATs)
  • Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)
  • Isothermal amplification
  • Droplet digital PCR or digital droplet PCR (ddPCR)
  • RNA (Ribonucleic acid)
  • Ct (cycle threshold)
  • CRISPR
  • Sequencing
  • Next generational sequencing (NGS) or whole genome sequencing (WGS)
  • Oxford Nanopore sequencing (LamPORE)
  • Detection of the N gene
  • Detection of Orf1a/b
  • Detection of the S gene
  • Detection of the E gene
  • Detection of the RdRp gene

Proof of vaccination does not cancel out the requirement for a test.

Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr, a senior spokesperson for the CBSA, said that 99.8 per cent of travellers arriving by air in the past seven days have complied with pre-arrival testing. During the same time period, approximately 99.74 per cent of the 189,520 travellers

arriving by air complied with the mandatory testing.

Gadbois-St-Cyr said that anyone providing false information to border officers or providing fraudulent results could lead to criminal charges or financial penalties. Failing to follow border entry rules could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines under the Quarantine Act. Wilful or reckless contravention of the Quarantine Act leading to a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person could net a fine up up to $1 million or three years in prison.

Making a false declaration when boarding a flight to Canada, including the presentation of a fraudulent test result, could lead to a fine of up to $5,000 under the Aeronautics Act, in addition to a fine of $3000 under the Quarantine Act, if the same false document is also presented upon entry into Canada.

Non-essential travellers – aside from returning Canadians – have been barred from entry since March 2020. Essential travel, including trade, is not subject to pre-entry testing.

ALSO READ: Canadians answer what they think post-COVID-19 life will look like in new survey


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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