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Man fined $1,000 for refusing COVID-19 test at B.C. airport

Matthew Lepky was tested in Thailand before boarding a Vancouver flight and refused to take another test on arrival in Vancouver.
YVR COVID-19 Testing Site
Nurse Aubrey Frias was one of the staff on-site at the Richmond COVID-19 testing site near the airport.

A Canadian man has been fined $1,000 for refusing to take a molecular COVID-19 test at Vancouver International Airport on arrival from Thailand in July 2021.

Matthew Lepky was returning from Southeast Asia where his wife lives and he was told he had to take a test when he arrived in Vancouver. He refused and was issued a ticket.

He has pleaded guilty.

Vancouver provincial court Judge Eugene Jamieson heard Lepky was in violation of a federal order in council issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19 issued June 21, 2021. It was issued under the federal Quarantine Act.

Jamieson also heard Lepky has refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine because it offends his conscience and he doubts its efficacy. The court also heard Lepky doubts the threat of the pandemic to the community.

However, Lepky had obtained a negative test prior to boarding the plane to Vancouver. He said that test was still valid for 50 hours.

“If I was just tested for COVID and I didn’t have it and I was allowed to fly into Canada, why do I need to be tested again?” Lepky asked the court.

He said he got a nosebleed each time he received a test. He said he didn’t want to spend time on a connecting flight to Toronto with a nosebleed after a nasal swab test in Vancouver.

Asked why he was pleading guilty, Lepky said, “I am trying to get on with my life. This has gone on for a long time and I just want to get it over."

He told the court he hoped it's not something that would haunt him "for the rest of my life.”

Jamieson agreed to a joint submission from Crown and defence in assessing the $1,000 fine.

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