Nearly 200 travellers to Canada have used suspected fake COVID-19 test results and nine have used suspected fake proof of vaccination, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
As of Aug. 24, the PHAC is aware of 190 instances of suspected falsified or fraudulent COVID-19 test results and nine instances of suspected falsified or fraudulent COVID-19 proof of vaccination presented at a point of entry to Canada, spokesperson Tammy Jarbeau told Vancouver Is Awesome.
Seven of these travellers were issued fines for suspected falsified or fraudulent test results while two of them were fined for suspected falsified or fraudulent COVID-19 proof of vaccination.
Many other cases are currently under investigation and awaiting an outcome, added Jarbeau.
"The enforcement action may differ depending on the details of the particular case," she said. "PHAC works with the police of jurisdiction to investigate all files where fraudulent documentation may have been presented in relation to the Quarantine Act."
The PHAC may also refer a case to the police of jurisdiction for potential criminal charges to be laid. The penalty for forging a document comes with a hefty fine of up to $750,000 or six months imprisonment or both.
'No global standard for vaccine documentation'
In June, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) spokesperson Jacqueline Callin told Vancouver Is Awesome that the CBSA is "aware that there is no global standard for vaccine documentation, and that some travellers may attempt to use fraudulent documentation when seeking entry to Canada."
On Aug. 11, however, the Government of Canada announced that it is working with the provinces and territories to develop a COVID-19 vaccine passport for international travel.
The passport will include the type of vaccines received, the dates and the location they were given, said Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.
Canadians should always check the Government of Canada’s website for travel advice and advisories, as well as the entry and public health requirements of their destination country, before booking a trip.