Ottawa woman in two-week quarantine says she couldn't access ArriveCan app
An Ottawa woman is spending two weeks in quarantine after she says she had trouble accessing the ArriveCan app during a short trip to the United States.
"I viewed this more as being told I'm under house arrest for the next two weeks," said Lorie Rockburn-Dunlop.
What was supposed to be a short shopping trip to Watertown, New York with a friend last week has now become a two-week nightmare for Rockburn-Dunlop.
"We got a notice of non-compliance which tells us that we're under quarantine for 14 days," she said.
Crossing the border in Ogdensburg, Rockburn-Dunlop said she had downloaded the must-have ArriveCan app but couldn't access her account.
"What we said was well when we get to the border we'll explain what happened and maybe they can help," said Rockburn-Dunlop. "I explained to him I knew we needed it and I had downloaded the app but it wasn't sending me an email with my new password. His reply was, 'Well, it's working for others.'"
Since February, the use of the ArriveCan app has been mandatory for all air and land travellers. Last month, the rules changed to allow travellers to re-enter Canada without a negative PCR test for short trips under 72 hours.
However, all travellers must upload their proof of vaccination and travel information into the app.
"It wasn't our fault. We tried all day to try and get onto this app, and then we're called liars," said Rockburn-Dunlop. "There's no recourse for technical issues."
The two-week quarantine is taking a toll. She's a caregiver for her parents, and her 100-year-old dad is recovering from a recent heart attack.
"This means I can't get groceries for two weeks, I can't help them with appointments or things they need to go to. I had to cancel a medical appointment," she said.
She and her friend are both fully vaccinated, but were given two PCR tests at the border and mandated to take them during quarantine. The first test sent off for results already.
"I got my negative results the next morning by email."
Rockburn-Dunlop says she's since received communications by phone and email reminding her of the legal consequences for breaking quarantine.
CTV News Ottawa reached out to the Canadian Border Services Agency for comment, but hadn't heard back at the time of publishing. Last week, the CBSA reminded all returning travellers that they must use the ArriveCan app, regardless of how long or short the trip is.
For now, the Ottawa woman is stuck at home with no answers about what she could have done differently.
"We had the app, it wouldn't work. I feel like the government has let us down."