An Ontario woman who traveled overseas to attend her father’s burial says she feels overcharged by the government’s “ill-conceived” hotel quarantine plan that cost her $3,458 for a single night stay.
Cristina Teixeira, who has been a senior business analyst for the Ontario government for the last 32 years, says it has been tough to return to Canada.
“The stress that we were put under is inconceivable,” Teixeria said on Monday. “As a Canadian citizen, public servant, I can tell you this is wrong on so many levels. We’ve never experienced something like this.”
Teixeira came back to Canada along with her brother and daughter on February 27 after spending almost a week in Portugal.
She said it was difficult to get any answers regarding the hotel quarantine program while overseas and was not able to book a room till she landed in Toronto.
Teixeira asked officials in the capital if her family could be exempted from the hotel program for compassionate reasons but her request fell on dumb ears. She narrates that she was told to call the nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel to book a place.
“We told the Crowne Plaza the situation and that we needed to book a hotel,” Teixeira said. “The guy said the rate would be $369 per night and you have to book a minimum of three nights.”
So they booked a room with two queen beds and waited over an hour for a shuttle to arrive. When it did not show up, they were eventually asked to take a taxi to the hotel.
“When we got there to check-in all of a sudden our price went up from $369 per night to $769 per night plus tax,” she said. “They knew there were three off us. They didn’t give us the right information.”
She said they were not informed via a phone call that the $369 rate was for one person and that because they were three, they would be charged a higher rate.
With all taxes and extra fees included, Teixeira’s credit card was charged $3,458 to stay in the room between February 27 and March 1, which is just lower than the $3,945 they were quoted when they initially arrived at Crowne Plaza Hotel.
“At this point, it was 1:30 in the morning, we were exhausted and we just agreed. We said we’ll worry about it in the morning. They handed us three sandwiches and three waters and nothing else.”
Teixeira said they were given no instructions on the quarantine process and were just old that food would be dropped outside the door.
The following morning, Teixeira said they waited until 9:45 a.m. before receiving breakfast, which according to her, looked like “slop”.
After some time, Teixeira and the company received their COVID-19 test results (negative), which meant they were free to leave the hotel and complete their quarantine period at home. In total, they spent 15 hours at Crowne Plaza.
“We called down and said we got our results and that we’re going to leave and they said you’re going to be charged for three nights,” Teixeira said.
Despite pleading with the management to return balance for the 2 nights to them, Teixeira said the hotel refuse
She said she was forced to pay the bill and went home.
“If I were to walk off the street that room would have cost me $159 plus $10 per extra person,” Teixeira said. “There was no special care given to us because we came from the airport.”
“The government has not really figured out the plan. It’s literally just horrible.”
So far, the report has not issued any report about Teixeira’s situation. The Public Health Agency of Canada, however, said that
“the hotels set their own rates and are subject to change.”
The new hotel stay requirement, which varies in cost from one hotel to another, started last week.
Every incoming air traveler to Canada is required to spend up to 3 days in one of the government’s approved hotels, at their own expense, as they await results of a COVID-19 test they were required to take immediately after landing in the country.