We all know by now that Canada has implemented travel restriction after travel restriction and it’s the traveller and airlines that need to keep playing catch-up. As of February 22, all international travellers coming into the country must take a COVID-19 test at the airport and quarantine at designated hotels until the results are in. If the results are negative, they may finish the remainder of their mandatory 14-day quarantine at home but if positive, they’ll be transferred to a government facility.
It all sounds pretty organized right? However, some folks have been struggling to book their room in one of these quarantine hotels. It’s been revealed that people have been having major issues trying to get in contact with GB Travel Canada Inc., which is the company that’s managing the bookings for the 18 hotels designated for quarantine across Canada. Yes that’s right — only 18 hotels for the whole country.
Canadian government has made it mandatory that you book your hotel quarantine or stopover through GB Travel Canada Inc. by phone only, not directly with the hotel. Why? Predictably this has jammed the call-line & frustrated travellers.— NLMac (@Jabbjanl) February 22, 2021
The quarantine accommodation sites are only located near the four airports in the country that international travel has now been limited: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. Due to these massive difficulties, travellers are having to cancel their travel plans for fear of arriving in Canada and not having the appropriate arrangements made in time.
The government of Canada website does mention that “the phone line is receiving a high volume of calls at the moment” and thanks people for their patience, but folks are reporting that they’re spending many more than a few hours trying to get through.
I have tried the 2 phone numbers provided by Govt. (1-613-830-2992 & 1-800-294-8253) for hotel reservations with no luck. I am trying to stay on call for 3hrs wait time but it gets disconnected after 45min or so. @TorontoPearson @CTVToronto— Aditya (@ee_aditya) February 22, 2021
Pearson Airport replied to a tweet on Twitter and said, “Sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time getting through, but at this time that is the wait time most passengers have to go through.”
Seeing as this is a brand new restriction that’s never been put into place before, it’s not surprising that there are kinks to work out. Folks who have been abiding by the stay at home orders are a bit unsympathetic when it comes to those returning from vacations but for some, they’re coming into Canada for professional reasons. Hopefully it’ll all get sorted out soon but with many things, especially during COVID, only time will tell.
Feature Image: Booking.com