Despite travel exemptions, families of Kelowna crane victims are still in quarantine


Norbert Stemmer was distraught and rushed to Canada to support his family after discovering that his two nephews had been killed in a crane collapse that destroyed the Kelowna community in British Columbia earlier this month.

But when Stemmer arrived, he and his 87-year-old mother were both from Germany. They were fined more than $11,000 and forced to quarantine because of a technical problem with the QR code in the PCR test.

brother Eric and Patrick Sturmer Was one of five people who died after July 12 Crane collapsed on a construction site in Kelowna.

“I got a call from my brother early in the morning. He couldn’t speak at all, he just cried and screamed,’We lost Patrick and Eric,'” Norbert Stemmer told the CBC news.

Stemmer said that when he heard the news, he was shocked. He said his first reaction was to jump on the plane to be with his brother in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, while he was grieving for the loss of his son.

“They are completely on their own. They don’t have any relatives in Canada. They are all in Germany,” he said.

But due to the pandemic, Stemmer and his mother must first go through a long process to receive the correct documents and book flights.

Norbert Stemmer’s nephew Eric and Patrick Stemmer were among the five people who died after the crane collapsed on the construction site on July 12. (Submitted by Norbert Stemmer)

Both were vaccinated with a negative COVID-19 test

Stemmer said it took nearly a week, but both he and his mother received a quarantine exemption from the Canadian Embassy in Vienna, allowing them to enter the country for compassionate reasons.

Before boarding the plane, the two took a PCR test to confirm that they were negative for COVID-19. They also brought appropriate documents with them to prove that they were all vaccinated.

The area around the construction site where the crane collapsed has been evacuated and temporarily closed to the public. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

But when they arrived in Vancouver on July 23, due to a technical failure in the app, the QR code proving their test status could not be opened on Stemmer’s mobile phone.

According to Stemmer, the Public Health Agency of Canada subsequently imposed a fine of US$5,750 on each of them and told them that they needed to be quarantined in a hotel for three nights, and then quarantined at his brother’s home for the remaining 14 days of quarantine.

CBSA says the responsibility lies with travelers??

The Canadian Border Services Agency rejected CBC’s request for comment on the Stemmer incident, but stated that passengers must meet all Require After obtaining approval to enter Canada as a compassionate entry.

CBSA spokesperson Jacqueline Callin (Jacqueline Callin) said in a written statement: “It is the responsibility of travelers to clearly prove that they meet the exemptions set out in the parliamentary order.”

Callin said that when questions are asked about travellers’ test documents, border services officials usually refer travellers to public health officials, who make the final decision on the next step.

Stemmer said that both he and his mother were allowed to leave home for a day to attend the funeral of his nephew, but they must still wear masks and observe physical distance guidelines while there.

“We talk from a distance, we don’t allow hugs or comfort or anything else. It’s really hard because the shock is still so deep that there are still many tears,” Stemmer said.

‘We have a strong connection’

He said the whole situation has become very frustrating because they just want to support and mourn the lost together as a family.

“I know Patrick and Eric, even though we and our family are separated by the ocean, we have a strong bond,” he said.

Stemmer said he had many fond memories of his nephew, but the most important thing was that he said he admired their love for his wives.

“They love each other very much. It’s really too hard for their poor widow,” he said.

Stemmer and his mother still have a 6-day quarantine period, but he continues to seek answers and hopes that the government will sympathize with their situation.

“I need to fight that ticket because it is unfair,” he said. “We are two people, their test results were negative, and all our shots were shot. This is ridiculous.”



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