Quarantine at the hotel: people exasperated by the long delays on the phone

Travelers due to land at Montreal-Trudeau airport in the coming days are struggling to speak to an agent on the phone to book and pay for the hotel quarantine imposed by Ottawa.

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“I tried to reach the phone number at 9 and 10:30 a.m. [hier] morning. Impossible to have anyone. If I can’t make a reservation, I’ll have to delay my return, ”says Bilal Ghalaini, a resident of La Prairie on the South Shore of Montreal, who has been on a business trip to Dubai and Paris since mid-January. .

The chemical engineer will return home on March 5, if he finally manages to speak to an agent.

“I’m not taking a chance. There are a limited number of hotels and rooms, ”he continues.

Since Saturday, travelers trying to reserve a place at the hotel have encountered congested phone lines managed by a federal contractor. Our journalist was able to speak to an agent after about fifteen hours spent on the phone.

Many citizens also reported waiting over three hours on the phone.

Kevin, an employee of the Crowne Plaza, one of the four designated hotels in Montreal, however confirmed to the Journal to have “no reservations” today, and only “15-20 for the rest of the week”.

Lack of organization

“It’s completely poorly organized! Why set this date if there are not enough agents to answer the phone? »Launches Nesrine Bisa, the ex-wife of Mr. Ghalaini, who fears not being able to count on his help to take care of their daughter after the operation which she must undergo soon.

Between “500 and 1000” passengers are expected every day at Dorval starting this week, according to Aéroports de Montréal estimates.

“Travelers who show up at the airport without having booked a hotel room will be referred to an official for follow-up,” replied the Journal the spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada, Tammy Jarbeau, thanking them “all” for their “patience” when asked about the important delays.

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