WARMINGTON: Man in forced detention in a Canada COVID hotel

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He’s effectively incarcerated.

“It feels like that,” he said. “I don’t have any say in it.”

The worst part is before he left from visiting a friend in North Carolina, he got a COVID-19 test as required by new rules.

“It cost me $130,” he said. “I tested negative.”

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Duesing said his ordeal began when the Public Health Agency of Canada didn’t accept this rapid test and ordered him detained until the results of their own test were known. The agency did not respond to the Sun‘s request for a comment.

“I was escorted by police to a shuttle bus and taken to this hotel, which is fenced off from the public.”

It definitely has a detention centre feel to it. There is a barrier preventing anybody from coming and going and a security detail checks every vehicle entering the property.

Steve Duesing speaks to the Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmnington from his ninth-floor hotel suite on Feb. 2, 2021 where he is in forced quarantine. JACK BOLAND/TORONTO SUN Photo by Jack Boland, Toronto Sun /Toronto Sun

It’s a lonely, solitary existence, added Steve. “I should be allowed to leave at 10 p.m. tonight (Tuesday).”

This doesn’t seem legal in a free country. It also seems punitive. If he had a fever or cough, perhaps precautionary measures of some kind could be taken.

But taking away someone’s liberty is obscene. It feels like a violation of basic human rights in a country that purports to champion such freedoms.

A notice in his room said, “You must remain in your assigned room and are required to limit face-to-face contact with others outside of your immediate room assignment.”

A sandwich provided to Steve Duesing during his forced hotel stay after landing at Pearson. Steve Duesing

Just like a prisoner, he gets water sent up and a sandwich.

“I don’t have any symptoms,” said Steve. “I am angry, but other than that, I’m fine.”