Report 15—Enforcement of Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing Orders—Public Health Agency of Canada
At a GlanceReport 15—Enforcement of Quarantine and COVID‑ 19 Testing Orders—Public Health Agency of Canada
Why we did this audit
- Border control measures that are evidence-based and well enforced can limit the introduction of the virus and its variants into Canada.
- Verification of travellers’ compliance with quarantine and testing orders will allow the agency to know whether its approach to enforcement is effective and what adjustments it may need to make to help limit the spread of the virus.
- Without verifying travellers’ compliance with mandatory quarantine orders, the Public Health Agency of Canada cannot know whether its approach to enforcing the orders is effective or to what extent its approach serves to limit the spread of COVID‑19. Having this information can improve the agency’s future response to infectious disease outbreaks.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada improved its verification of traveller compliance with mandatory quarantine orders.
- Little follow‑up was completed with non-compliant travellers.
- The agency did not have an automated system in place to know whether air travellers quarantined at authorized hotels as required.
- The agency issued only 13 tickets to travellers who failed to comply with the requirement to stay in a designated quarantine facility.
Key facts and figures
- From March 2020 to August 2021, the agency spent $614 million to administer border measures.
- With the move to collect traveller contact information electronically, the Public Health Agency of Canada improved its ability to verify whether incoming travellers followed the 14‑day quarantine orders.
- Of the 8,071 incoming travellers who tested positive for COVID‑19, the agency had not contacted 1,156 (14%) of them.
- We found gaps in the verification of mandatory COVID‑19 tests for incoming travellers: 14% of travellers did not complete an on-arrival test, and 26% did not complete a post-arrival test.
Highlights of our recommendations
- The Public Health Agency of Canada should improve its enforcement of emergency orders imposed to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID‑19.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada should better use information on the outcomes of its referrals for follow-up to assess whether its enforcement approach is working to limit the importation of the virus that causes COVID-19 and its variants.
- The agency should also improve its capability to achieve a consistent enforcement approach to border measures nationwide, including exploring other tools that could be used in all Canadian jurisdictions.
|Completion Date||10 November 2021|
|Tabling Date||9 December 2021|