ArriveCan app glitch tells vaccinated eastern Ontario travellers to quarantine
The federal government says that it has identified an issue with the ArriveCan app that has instructed users to quarantine even if it is not necessary, and are working to fix it.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa on Wednesday, the Office of the Ministry of Public Safety says this notice is a technical glitch.
"The CBSA has identified a technical glitch with the app that has affected some users in recent days, which can produce an erroneous notification instructing people to quarantine," the ministry said. "This glitch affects less than 3 per cent of users, and appears to be linked to iOS (Apple) devices. The CBSA is working around-the-clock to fix this issue.”"
It says a solution has been found and will be implemented by the end of the week.
Sarah Giroux says she received a notice after a trip to Ogdensburg, New York, with her husband and two children last Friday.
"(we) filled out our ArriveCan app before we left, had all our vaccines uploaded. We’ve crossed before and never had issues."
But she says that changed around 11 a.m. on Saturday, when she got an alert saying her children need to quarantine for 14 days, or the family could face a fine, or even imprisonment.
"Right away, sheer panic. What? They’re out in the community, bring them home lock them up. What do we have to do, panicking," Giroux says.
She and her family are fully vaccinated and she says she couldn’t understand why she received the notice.
The ArriveCan App is mandatory for all international travellers entering Canada. Residents and visitors have to fill out information like vaccination status.
The government says latest figures show 99.52 per cent of air travellers and 89.20 per cent of those travelling by land have successfully used the app.
The statement from the office of the Ministry of Public Safety also says that while they don’t comment on individual cases, it says border officers focus on education and not to be "punitive."
"It's important to emphasize that CBSA and PHAC officials - and not the app - are the ones who determine if an individual is subject to public health restrictions and needs to quarantine," the statement said.
Giroux says the family is relieved to learn they aren’t in the wrong, but after days of confusion, she’s frustrated it took this long for information.
As of deadline to publish this story, Giroux says she still hasn’t been notified by the government of the glitch directly.
"I’m really frustrated with it. I would just like a response to say, 'Oh sorry it happened, totally a fluke. Continue on with life.' Give me some type of sign," she explains. "I see why we need [the app] but this is crazy."