By on April 26, 2021

With Ontario embracing some of the strictest lockdown restrictions in the West and giving the police force carte blanche when it comes to enforcing public health, many Canadians have told us they’re not exactly enthralled with the idea of notifying their government that they’ve been out of the country. This is doubly true if they’ve just flown in by plane because the nation now requires a few days’ stay in a hotel as part of its mandatory 14-day quarantine for those traveling by air.

Due to the added time, cost, and general hassle of booking yourself into a hotel for 3 nights — awaiting the results of a mandatory COVID test before you’re technically allowed to go home to continue self-isolation — some travelers have opted to utilize ground transportation for the explicit purpose of avoiding restrictions. Rather than flying all the way into the Great White North, Canadians are flying into neighboring American airports and then hailing a taxi that will take them across the border. 

Reuters had the cost breakdown, estimating that the average cost of hiring a car to get into Canada from the U.S. border is somewhere around $250. While the estimate on the 3-day hotel stay was a lofty $1,000, even a few nights at one of those fleabag joints will easily surpass whatever it’s going to cost you to just drive (or be driven) home. Another consideration is that those coming in by plane who do end up testing positive for COVID will be ultimately moved to a government-appointed facility and isolated for the duration of the illness.

Numerous cab and limo companies told the outlet that the situation had created an upswing in business near the border. New York has undoubtedly seen the most action, though it’s hardly the only area seeing a surge of activity. Similar trends have been noticed in just about any area where there’s a lot of cross-country commerce, including examples of people stopping at the border to walk across before booking another ride for the rest of the trip home.

From Reuters:

Non-commercial land border crossings were 60 [percent] higher during one week at the end of March and beginning of April than in the same week in 2020, according to data from the Canada Border Services Agency. Air travel for that same week, meanwhile, increased 18.8 [percent].

The discrepancy between the rules at the land border and by air is a sore point for Canada’s hard-hit carriers.

Unlike land travelers who can choose where to quarantine, air passengers who test positive at a hotel must self-isolate at a government-mandated facility.

According to Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) data for Feb. 22 through March 25, 1.5 [percent] of air passengers to the country tested positive for the virus on arrival compared with 0.3 [percent] of land travelers.

As you might have expected, the knowledge that there are people crossing the border without being subject to the same rigid screening that air travelers receive has left some Canadians demanding tighter rules for ground transport — including Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Premier of Quebec François Legault. Assuming restrictions are enhanced, expect them to be limited to popular border crossings and places where the rules could be more easily enforced (e.g. bridges).

[Image: Cameris/Shutterstock]

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49 Comments on “Canadians Using Cabs to Avoid Quarantine Restrictions...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Why would anyone want to travel for recreational right now? India is a sh!tshow. Many countries are dealing with increasingly contagious variants.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      Selfish douchebags will be selfish douchebags, pandemic or no pandemic.

    • 0 avatar
      kcflyer

      Because it’s supposed to be a free country? Remember when it was just “two weeks to flatten the curve?” Protect the vulnerable (they have vaccines i hear) then stimulate the economy buy letting people go about their lives. Not just the people wealthy enough to skirt the rules.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike Beranek

        We always knew that this would be a 12-18 month event. They told us so at the beginning.
        “Two weeks to flatten the curve” was a strategy to keep our hospitals from overflowing. In most places, it worked.

      • 0 avatar

        ” it’s supposed to be a free country”

        “Supposed” does not mean it is a free country. “Free country” is a myth created by Hollywood after WWII as a propaganda tool in Cold War. There’ve never been free countries on the face of the Earth. Every person is the subject of Government regulation and the Government alone decide what citizens allowed to do or what not.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          Governments love to use fear-mongering as an excuse for draconian measures. And, the sheep say “anything to stay safe, Mr. Government!”

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Governments love to use fear-mongering”

            The past USA president got himself elected with fearmongering, used it throughout his presidency right up to and after his loss….

            So I guess that proves your point!

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      At the very least Canada should institute vaccine passports on anyone who’s been vaccinated – zero travel restrictions, no testing, no quarantine. They’re moving the goalposts on “safety” restrictions. Life has risks, you can’t hide in a safe room forever, and the virus isn’t going away. And a significant portion of the population will never be vaccinated for one reason or another, people will still be catching COVID, and a some will still die from it, five years from now.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Traveled for business last week. Airports very congested. Unnecessarily. Many vendors and gates closed which results in very crowded vendor areas and gates.
      Plane was 90% full and 80% full during the trip. I was uncomfortable with the entire situation despite being vaccinated.
      Driving my personal vehicle i/o flying is much preferred if I had the option.

      People are making poor choices.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think that emotion is simply in your head in that instance. My flight back was 100% booked, and SkyHarbor was pretty full coming in and going out yet at no point did I feel any discomfort or worry – and this is with a mask of 0% effectiveness (like nearly all of them). Plandemic is on half time, get out and enjoy while you can.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        Humans are known for making poor choices: cigarettes, meth, heroin, unplanned pregnancies, SUVs, voting for Republicans, eating at McDonalds, chucking their garbage out the window or into a creek, driving tall vehicles through low clearances, tattoos, buying worthless crap at Home Store and Walmart, and on and on.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      Lou_BC,

      “The past USA president got himself elected with fearmongering”

      I just can’t resist, but you set yourself up for this. At least he got elected.

      And, if you think your dems don’t fear-monger…

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I’m not a Democrat.

        “At least he got elected.”

        That goes back to your “freedom to say anything you want.” It’s hard to figure out what the truth is when one chooses to believe what he said.

        If you believe that the ends justifies the means, then the truth doesn’t matter.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Lots of Canadian Snow birds returning home this time of year from various southern winter retreats. The folks with the cash chartered helicopters out of St. Catherines into Niagara Falls and Buffalo while having their cars trucked over the border to continue their trips south. Maybe they can’t take their private cars back across the bridges so they book a flight close to home then take a cab to save money and hassle. Bottom line, the covid restrictions are only designed to keep those without the financial means from traveling. The wealthier class can circumvent the restrictions. Just like here in the good ol USA. Rules for thee and not for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Agreed.

    • 0 avatar
      Lynchenstein

      Perhaps it will be a self-correcting problem. I only hope they don’t take out too many of the rest of us when they’re gasping their last breath.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The middle class Canadians did not leave. I live in “God’s Waiting Room” FL. In my county, 20%+ of the seasonal residents are middle-class Canadians (and probably a very few rich ones, but this is a firmly middle-class area – the wealthy snowbird retreats are north and south of here. This is an area where you can buy a nice second home for $100K or less, making it affordable to mere mortals. They did not come this year. My mother’s Condo building is 75% Canadians, not a one came south this winter. I think a lot of people rented out their winter places to make a buck since they couldn’t come down, but that is highly restricted in that condo complex so nearly impossible.

      So very much agreed, the wealthy play by their own rules. Always have, always will.

      Baffling that Canada has such crazily different rules depending on HOW you are entering the country though. JUST being on an airplane should make no difference at all – assuming masking is enforced, which it certainly is on most airlines, it’s one of the safest places you can be. It’s what you were doing before you got on the plane that is the issue, and that is no different than getting in a car and crossing the border.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Good for them. The proverbial middle finger to these draconian measures put in place by government officials that have no clue what they’re doing.

    Remember the Vid has a 99% survival rate. But by all means kowtow to their demands and allow your freedoms to be taken away so easily.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I don’t recall “freedom to be stupidly selfish” enshrined in Canada’s constitution or any other country’s constitution.

      And where does that 99% survival rate number of yours come from?

      I’d love to see the peer reviewed professional study that made that claim.

      • 0 avatar
        Imagefont

        EBFlex still thinks Trump is president, he’s a little light on facts.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          “EBFlex still thinks Trump is president”

          *Wishes.

          I don’t like the racist, homophobe that is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s that we have occupying the White House now. I like a president that isn’t dumbfounded on how to handle a simple flight of stairs.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @EBFlex….. “advanced Alzheimers” ….. ?? Nah.. its not even worth a response !

          • 0 avatar
            BigDuke6

            I think you need to loosen your MAGA hat a couple notches. It’s restricting blood flow to your brain…….

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “@EBFlex….. “advanced Alzheimers” ….. ?? Nah.. its not even worth a response !”

            Am I wrong?

            What do you call a person that is showing clear signs of mental decline? He loses his train of thought mid-sentence, He says things that are obviously false (like he first entered the senate 120 years ago), has trouble with everyday tasks like walking a flight of stairs, etc.

            He’s clearly suffering. Thats why, just today, he said he can’t take any questions from the press because he’d get in trouble. By who? Hes the most powerful man in the world. Who is going to get him in trouble?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “What do you call a person that is showing clear signs of mental decline? He loses his train of thought mid-sentence, He says things that are obviously false”

            Donald tRump.

            “I don’t like the racist, homophobe that is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s that we have occupying the White House now. ”
            Yes, we know. You preferred that last president who was a racist, homophobe et al.

            “I like a president that isn’t dumbfounded on how to handle a simple flight of stairs.”
            Well, that rules out the last president too.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “I don’t recall “freedom to be stupidly selfish” enshrined in Canada’s constitution or any other country’s constitution.”

        Right…because going outside and enjoying life is now selfish.

        Meanwhile, Florida and Texas are proof positive that the restrictions are based on control and not science. Many studies have come out saying that lockdowns don’t work, masks don’t work, etc.

        It’s sad when King Lib Bill Mahr is railing against the likes of Lou_MR and the draconian lockdowns that he/they support.

        I know a 99% survival rate is super scary for you but the fact is, nobody is forcing YOU to go outside. Nobody is forcing YOU to not wear a mask. Nobody is forcing YOU to go to a restaurant.

        If you want to be an insane hand wringer over an illness with a 99% survival rate, that’s your choice. Nobody is stopping you.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “99% survival rate”

          Source? Abstract? Or link?

          It isn’t that hard to provide the evidence to back your claim if it exists.

          • 0 avatar
            wolfwagen

            https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid

            Pulling out just the US data as of Monday of this week shows total Deaths divided by total number of cases = 1.78% of all COVID cases end in death.

            So its closer to 98% than 99%

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Even if you go by the CDCs numbers for *confirmed* cases vs. deaths, the survival rate is something like 95-96%. But the CDC also freely admits that the *confirmed* case rate is a fraction of the actual case rate. Possibly as little as 20% of the actual case rate. So yes, the real survival rate of this disease IS probably 99% across the entire population (which is still terrible, BTW). We will never actually know, because nobody does enough testing to know. This is an amazingly sneaky bastard of a virus. We don’t even know why one person can have it, have zero symptoms, and still be contagious, while another person gets it and dies of the complications of it. Covid doesn’t kill anyone – the body’s overreaction to Covid kills them.

        The problem is we have NO slack in our healthcare systems for the number of people who end up in hospitals, and of course, the rate is not consistent across all ages and people. 1% might be the overall rate, but if you are very elderly and sick already, it might be 50%. Let it get completely out of control ala NYC last year, and India and Brazil right now, and the death rate skyrockets. And that is all too easy to do.

        Sadly, I am pretty sure the right to be stupid is very much enshrined in the US Constitution, starting with the 2nd Amendment.

        I also think handling this is a fairly impossible task of not pleasing anyone. Governments seem to go between too much and too little lockdown, or inconsistent lockdowns like this one. Some people just go completely insane in avoid anything and everything even if they are in a low risk group, and others keep on partying like it is 1999. No happy medium. The US went full on “hold my beer” by leaving damned near everything up to state governors, ensuring a hopeless patchwork. The ONLY saving grace here is that we had the money and the forethought to get first in line for vaccine, though know the bottom 49% of the class is going to squander THAT.

        FL not being on par with India right now is dumb luck, IMHO.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        It’s actually around 97.5% who don’t actually die from it. (Some never get their sense of taste and smell back, among other problems.) And that’s from reported cases and reported deaths. Many countries, such as Brazil, India, Ecuador and Mexico have grossly underreported both.
        The numbers are continuously updated at worldometer dot com.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      99% is wrong. You can’t use the total population as the denominator, you have to use the number of infected persons.
      Math doesn’t work the way you think it does.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      It’s more like 98%, which is pretty terrible odds for most activities. And it’s much lower for people at risk.

      “Survival” isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, either, unless you still think this is just the run-of-the-mill winter flu. It can be a horrendous experience, and mask-wearing is cheaper than life support.

      “Freedom” to injure others isn’t a right. Freedom to assemble isn’t a universal right, either. After a disaster, the authorities temporarily tape off the area to prevent people from being hurt inside it. Do you protest that, too?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        If one looks at “excess” death rates in USA, that number was 183/100,000 in 2020. That is the death rate above the average. 2019 had a total death rate of 869.7/100,000. That’s a 21% increase.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          A survival rate is a product of a functioning healthcare system. Once the healthcare system fails, that rate can change drastically.

          Think of a car ICE engine-powered car. There are all kinds of performance statistics on acceleration, horsepower, torque, and longevity associated with that vehicle and engine. Take off the governor and run the engine past redline, the engine breaks down and suddenly all the statistics that apply to that engine are gone. Zero Torque, zero hp, and zero life expectancy.

          Let’s take a look at the survivability of appendicitis. I just took a quick look in my Merck Manual at an article by Parswa Ansar, MD, of Hofstra Northwell-Lenox Hill Hospital, New York. As you might expect, the death rate from appendicitis is low if you receive proper medical care. But if you are in a remote area without care (surgery and antibiotics), he says the death rate is greater than 50%. So, you can quote appendicitis death rates all day, but when proper care isn’t available, those rates change drastically.

          That’s what happens with covid. If the number of patients is within the maximum capacity of the care system, you’ll have a certain death rate. Exceed that capacity, and the death rate changes drastically. Even for someone with appendicitis, when the medical system breaks down because of covid and they can’t get care, they could die of appendicitis because they can’t get healthcare because covid consumes the hospital beds and the energy of the caregivers. That’s what researchers are talking about when they say the death rate because of covid-19 could be much higher, especially if you look at cancer.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @mcs – Awesome explanation.

            The point of masks, social distancing, travel and social restrictions is to prevent the overwhelming of healthcare.

            Italy went through that. Lockdowns saved them.

            India is turning into an epic mess.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    And the amazing thing is they appear to be using German taxi cabs! Magic?

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    As I stated on another thread-When the government pays for your healthcare, they get to make the rules. If they didn’t have these rules/restrictions, COVID positive cases could multiple exponentially. Then increase costs for the government-and that could be passed on to even more taxes for Canadians. BTW-Canadians are experts (especially if they live by the U.S. border) of finding ways to get around their country’s outrageous taxation. Those taxes of course pays for their healthcare. The article illustrates what exactly they will do to figure work-arounds.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      The gov’t doesn’t pay for any Canadians healthcare. Canadians pay for their own healthcare at the tax office.

      • 0 avatar
        CKNSLS Sierra SLT

        MoDo-

        Did you read my post? The Canadians DO NOT PAY THE FULL COST for their healthcare. My premium in the good old USA is $658.00/month (for only ME) with me paying all costs up to $6,600.00 This excludes two well visits a year and one Optometrist appointment a year. What do you pay?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Feel pretty good about voting for Aladdin now?

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      He is purported to have installed party agents three layers deep at the election oversight branch called “Elections Canada”, thus guaranteeing a majority “win”. when he springs the next election announcement.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        No idea but any Liberal who voted for him should be disavowed from that party. He culturally appropriated and did something 100% racist with pictures to prove it. Under their own insane ideas they cannot support Trudeau and in fact should have metaphorically tarred and feathered him. Either that party’s social beliefs are completely valid or they are completely invalid, there is no middle ground for Trudeau in that instance. Rationalization = approval.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        That’s false but for some stupid reason, TTAC’s site won’t let me post a proper rebuttal.

        Trudeau has zero ability to pack “Elections Canada”.

        @28 – Justin is a performer and a poor one at that. His dad was an arrogant azz and hated in the West but at least he had a brilliant mind and was arguably a good leader.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “Justin is a performer and a poor one at that. His dad was an arrogant azz and hated in the West but at least he had a brilliant mind and was arguably a good leader.”

          Oddly enough this to an extent describes Bush Jr. and his father Darth H.W. Sidious.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            You’re on a roll tonight. Awesome.

            Must be the full moon. LOL

          • 0 avatar
            Pig_Iron

            M. Trudeau used his parliamentary majority to appoint the Chief Electoral Officer in charge of Elections Canada. Who in turn, has been quietly placing agents in key positions throughout the oversight body. My source is a very serious dour figure in the government who has never lied to me in the decades I’ve known them.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pigiron – Yeah. Right.

            The position of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) was created in 1920 by the Dominion Elections Act. The Chief Electoral Officer is appointed for a 10-year non-renewable term by a resolution of the House of Commons. He or she reports directly to Parliament and is thus completely independent of the government of the day and all political parties. He or she can be removed from office only for cause, by the Governor General after a joint request following a majority vote by the House of Commons and Senate.

            Mandate of the Chief Electoral Officer
            The Chief Electoral Officer is responsible for the administration of elections, referendums and other important aspects of our electoral system.

            A number of sectors make up Elections Canada, the organization that carries out the specific roles and responsibilities under the CEO’s mandate.”

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @PigIron – I’d post more in rebuttal but this site won’t allow an explanation of the Canadian electoral process. You can’t game electoral boundaries or stuff ballot boxes.

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