Whitehorse man says new federal quarantine rules frustrating to comply with

·2 min read
Whitehorse man says new federal quarantine rules frustrating to comply with
Kevin Rumsey of Whitehorse holds up some of the food he was provided at a hotel in Montreal that he's quarantining in. (Submitted by Kevin Rumsey - image credit)
Kevin Rumsey of Whitehorse holds up some of the food he was provided at a hotel in Montreal that he's quarantining in. (Submitted by Kevin Rumsey - image credit)

A man from Whitehorse says it has been frustrating trying to comply with new quarantine rules for people who travel into Canada by air.

Kevin Rumsey returned to Canada on Tuesday after spending time in Afghanistan. He is currently in Montreal, waiting to fly home to Yukon.

As part of the new federal rules, he has to stay in a government-authorized hotel. Currently, there are 27 such hotels in four provinces listed on the federal government's website.

Booking a stay, which must be for at least three nights, has to be done via a specific phone line.

Rumsey said he called the number several times, including one attempt in which he was disconnected after waiting about an hour, and his family tried, too.

"It was my girlfriend who had to wait four hours on the phone. On Sunday, she was able to make a booking on my behalf. That's just so crazy. That's just so, so frustrating," he said.

Before getting on the Canada-bound plane, Rumsey had to show a document proving he tested negative for COVID-19 and that he had booked a stay at one of the hotels.

He said some people behind him waiting in line weren't allowed to board the plane because they didn't have proof of a booking.

"They were stuck, and they were quite upset," Rumsey recounted.

His room in Montreal costs $400 a night — "a lot of money," he says.

Once his latest COVID-19 test comes back negative, Rumsey will be able to book a flight home to Yukon, where he'll continue to quarantine.

"Of course, buying a ticket on the fly — I mean, that's super expensive," he said on Tuesday,

On Wednesday, Rumsey said his test came back negative, and he plans to fly to Whitehorse early Thursday.

He said, even though he is able to leave early, he still has to pay for the night he won't be there.

As for his experience at the hotel, Rumsey said the room is fine, and the food provided has been awful.

"I'm allowed to go out once to get some fresh air, and I've got to be escorted. Not allowed to have any packages received. No visitors, obviously, so it's a jail. It's crazy. It's just crazy," Rumsey said with a laugh.