COVID-19: Saskatoon children mistakenly told to self-isolate after the holidays | The Canadian News

A Saskatoon man says his children, ages six and nine, who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, were incorrectly told to self-isolate for two weeks upon returning home from the holidays.

Before a family trip to Mexico for the holidays, Blaire Hornung tried to get all her ducks in a row for an efficient cross-border travel experience, especially for her two children. She contacted the Canada Border Services Agency when the ArriveCan app did not accept the children’s vaccination certificates.

“I spoke to a gentleman and he said that would be fine, if we can’t put the children’s vaccination proof on the app, I could use an alternative proof, so that’s what I did,” Hornung said.

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But when the family returned from their trip to the Saskatoon airport on January 7, dealing with border agents was not that simple.

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“I showed her one of my son’s tests through the Sask vax app and she said she wasn’t sure and asked the guy next to her. And then he said ‘well, I have to test them on day one and day eight through Canadian Health and they will have to test their children on day one and day eight, and they will have to isolate for two weeks.'”

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In the following days, Hornung tried to get clarity on isolation measures for fully vaccinated travelers under 12, but could only find information on unvaccinated children.

“It’s very confusing because you can’t communicate with anyone. There is no one you can contact at Canadian Health. If you call someone in the ArriveCan app, you are speaking from a script. They really can’t make any decisions.”

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Global News has contacted the federal health minister’s office for clarification on the matter, but they were unavailable for comment before the publication deadline. However, they pointed out federal guide showing that even unvaccinated children can be exempt from quarantine if traveling with a fully vaccinated guardian.

However, on Thursday, the family got the answer they were looking for. After six days of isolation and three days of missed school, the CBSA has finally cleared children who are in fact exempt from quarantine.

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“A lot of the people that I was finally able to talk to actually knew more information than they did and that frustrated me a lot. I was doing my due diligence and trying to check things out before we went. We had all the boxes checked, and yet when we came back home we had to deal with what we’re dealing with now.”

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Hornung was asked why he took the risk of dealing with travel difficulties during the pandemic.

“Because they told us we could. They told us it was not illegal. We were told that if we followed all the right things we could travel, so it was time to travel. We wanted to travel. We wanted to escape during the break.”

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