About a quarter of travelers caught partying on a Sunwing flight from Montreal to Cancun at the end of last month have found their way back to Canada, according to Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.
Duclos said 27 of the 130 passengers on the Dec. 30 flight, who were stranded in Cancun after Sunwing canceled their return flight and several other airlines announced they would ban them, were able to return to Canada on four flights. different Wednesday.
Footage and video from the flight showed passengers ignoring public health measures, jumping and dancing in the aisle, vaping and openly circulating a bottle of hard liquor on the plane. In one video, a person was seen surfing with the plane in the air.
Cooperating federal and provincial officials: Duclos
At a press conference on Friday, Duclos said the passengers were stopped by border services officers on arrival and were to undergo COVID-19 testing.
Authorities also checked their vaccination information, the validity of their pre-arrival PCR tests and inquired about their quarantine plans, he said.
The health minister also said that the Quebec provincial police had contacted the Public Health Agency of Canada to obtain the contact details of the travelers.
He said the federal government had sent files on travelers to the Quebec prosecutor’s office on Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions of Quebec (DPCP).
On Friday evening, however, spokesperson Audrey Roy-Cloutier tweeted that the DPCP had not yet received any records regarding the events that took place on the Sunwing flight on December 30.
In connection with the reported events that will take place during a Sunwing flight on December 30, the DPCP would like to point out that it has not yet received any file, both in criminal and penal matters.
In a follow-up, Roy-Cloutier said that when the DPCP receives passenger records and information from investigating federal authorities, the evidence will be analyzed to see if it warrants prosecution.
Investigations can result in fines, jail time
The federal government issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the departments of Transportation, Public Safety and Health have all launched investigations into the incident.
According to the press release, Transport Canada could impose fines of up to $ 5,000 for each violation committed on board.
Additional fines and even jail time could result if the passengers are found to be endangering others or if they provide false information upon their return to Canada.
At least one of the passengers tested positive for COVID-19 after the flight to Mexico.
Rebecca St-Pierre, 19, confirmed to The Canadian Press that she tested positive on Wednesday and is currently in isolation in Tulum, south of Cancun.