VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C. actor Aaron Douglas says he recently travelled to the U.S. to be in a movie and was surprised when he wasn’t even asked about his vaccination status.
As someone who got two doses of AstraZeneca, Douglas wasn’t sure if he would be able to travel.
But he says despite coming prepared with a negative COVID test in hand, he was barely asked about his vaccination status.
“[The customs officer] looked up at me and he [asked if I had] anything to declare and I said, ‘nope.’ Then he said, ‘okay,’ and that was it,” Douglas told NEWS 1130.
“He handed me a piece of paper. And I walked away. And I looked at this piece of paper, and it was talking about quarantining for 14 days and doing a test immediately upon arrival. And then another test eight days later, was like, well, this is really confusing. He didn’t tell me anything.”
Douglas says he tried to get more information about the papers and asked two more customs officials about them. The officers said, “It’s just it’s reading material. Just give it a read. And, and then you can recycle it.”
A few days after Douglas arrived in Canada, he got a call from the Canadian government.
“They said you need to be quarantining. And did you do your test upon arrival?” an agent said in a voicemail to Douglas.
However, agents continued to call Douglas despite him being exempt from the quarantine and confirming this with an agent.
The constant calls left Douglas frustrated, “The money we’re spending for people to be calling people. They don’t need to be calling.”
Douglas says his experience shows, “going to the states is fine. Like the Americans, they just don’t care. But coming back, with the Canadian government … the protocols are there, but they’re not being followed … The messaging is horrific, absolutely horrific.”
He adds while he was able to eventually understand what he had to do when back home, ‘it’s not good for other Canadians or newly arrived immigrants’.
“They nobody’s really taking the COVID protocol seriously, or certainly …. not making sure like are you safe.”
Meanwhile, the National Airlines Council of Canada says it welcomes the policy change and encourages Canada to also recognize all WHO-approved vaccines.
And Douglas wonders how much will change under the new system next month, but says so far, it’s harder to get back into Canada than it is to go fly south of the border.