The CBC says private aircraft continue to operate international flights without the need for their passengers to spend a three-day hotel quarantine when they arrive. The network combed FlightAware to find the private aircraft that operated into airports outside the four quarantine hubs to which international airline flights are restricted (Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.) Not surprisingly, two-thirds of the flights, 572, went to Hamilton, on Toronto’s doorstep, while the rest were scattered across medium sized airports across the country. During the same time period, almost twice as many (1618) private aircraft used one of the four quarantine hotel airports and presumably honoured the quarantine requirements.
The CBC said private and corporate jets were among the off-grid arrivals but so were light aircraft and helicopters. Using GA is among several dodges being used to avoid the pricey hotel stays. Some passengers are flying to border cities and taking cabs and buses to the nearest border crossing where they have to promise to self quarantine for 14 days. Others are simply ignoring the requirement and accepting a fine instead of the hotel cost and time spent. All the loopholes have garnered criticism from medical authorities. “If you’re going to have a system in place that necessitates quarantining upon return from travel, it can’t be sort of a two-tier system where some individuals get to bypass that system by virtue of whatever means of travel they’re taking,” Dr. Leighanne Parkes, an infectious diseases specialist and medical microbiologist at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal told the CBC.