A passenger plane is seen with the moon behind as it begins its final landing approach to Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, Sept. 25, 2018. (Toby Melville/REUTERS)

2 passengers fined $17K for allegedly faking negative COVID-19 tests

Transport Canada has fined two airline passengers a combined $17,000 for allegedly presenting “a false or misleading COVID-19 test and for making a false declaration about their health status” before flying back to Canada.

Transport Canada alleges that in both cases, the individuals knowingly boarded a flight to Canada from Mexico on Jan. 23, after having tested positive for COVID-19 only a few days before their flight.

They were fined $10,000 and $7,000 respectively.

Under current rules, travellers must obtain a negative result on a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of boarding any flight to Canada or a proof of a positive test result within at least 14 days and no more than 90 days prior to arrival. Travelers must present the results to the air crew prior to boarding their flight.

Air carriers that suspect that a passenger has provided a false or misleading document must report the incident to Transport Canada, the federal agency said.

Upon arrival in Canada by air, the test documents are further assessed by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) officers.

Anyone failing to abide by these regulations can face a fine of up to $5,000 per violation.

“Transport Canada will continue to investigate incidents reported to the department and will not hesitate to take enforcement action where it is warranted,” the agency said.

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