Confusion swirls around the ArriveCan app and its use on the US-Canada border.

Canadian travelers who have been told to self-quarantine after a trip across the border say the app is unreliable and inconvenient to navigate.

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The federal government is reigning over overzealous border guards who have ordered fully vaccinated Canadian travelers to spend 14 days in quarantine for failing to properly complete their ArriveCan application.


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A retired Quebec official and a Montreal anesthesiologist are among dozens of Canadians who were ordered to stay home for two weeks because they couldn’t, or couldn’t, send all details of their travel or vaccination status in the application before reaching the border. .

The retired civil servant and his partner received the harsh news after recently returning from Boston to see a Bob Dylan concert. It was his first trip outside of Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.

“We asked him if we could stop and finish filling out the application, but he said no because there were two cars behind us,” the man recalled. “He gave us the COVID tests and said we had a mandate to quarantine ourselves.”

After the couple, and dozens of other Canadian travelers, complained about the rigid enforcement of the rules, federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino intervened on Monday.


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During the question period in the House of Commons, Mendicino said that he has spoken with the Canada Border Services Agency “for additional guidance to provide the opportunity for travelers to provide necessary information about ArriveCan in person at the borders. “.

Travelers have complained that the app is confusing, unreliable, and difficult to navigate.

The Montreal official said he and his wife thought they had correctly filled in the required information when they pressed a button that said “enregistrer et fermer.”

“When you see check in and close, you think it’s over,” said the man. “It needs to be simplified. It should say sign up and go to the next step, don’t close. “

Completing the ArriveCan application has become a mandatory part of crossing into Canada by land or air, regardless of how long the traveler has been out of the country.


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It collects information about where the traveler has been, their contact information, and COVID-19 test results before the trip. Travelers must also scan their passport, upload their proof of vaccination, and complete a COVID symptom self-assessment.

Before submitting information to ArriveCan, travelers must create an account by providing an email and password. The information can be completed on a smartphone or on the website.

Border agents found that many travelers had app issues after November 30, when Canadians were able to visit the US for 72 hours without providing a negative test for COVID-19 upon their return.

Some travelers did not know that the use of the application is still mandatory.


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Last Thursday, a 70-year-old man from British Columbia who crossed the U.S. border to pick up a package in Washington state was ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days because he didn’t know how to upload his proof of vaccination into the app.

The Canada Border Services Agency sent out a press release last Wednesday asking reporters to spread the word that completing the ArriveCan application is mandatory for all travelers entering Canada.

Travelers without a smartphone or mobile data can submit their information by logging in online through any device. Information can be submitted electronically within 72 hours of arrival in Canada. Travelers should print or take a screenshot of their ArriveCan receipt and show it to a border agent. The receipt is sent by email and contains a six-digit code.


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Travelers can also ask someone else, such as a friend or family member, for help in submitting their information if they cannot navigate the app on their own.

The CBSA said it will respond to Mendicino’s statement Wednesday afternoon.

This story will be updated.

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Canadian Press contributed to this report.

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