A Canadian nurse may face discipline from her local nursing regulatory body after she filmed herself refusing to wear a mask, submit to a COVID test, or quarantine after arriving at Toronto Pearson Airport on an international flight.
Jessica Faraone, 29, arrived back home in Toronto last week after spending a month in Tanzania, but defiantly refused to follow any of her country’s rules even after being detained by border security.
A maskless Jessica — who got in a ‘screaming match’ with officials over a refusal to follow guidelines — insisted that as a frontline worker, she is ‘a hero’ and ‘can do what I want.’
Anti-masker: Jessica Faraone, 29, arrived home via Toronto Pearson Airport last week after spending a month in Tanzania and refused to wear a mask, quarantine, or take a COVID test
Pictured: Healthcare workers at Toronto Pearson Airport prepare to test passengers on February 1
Jessica seemed to know that was about to instigate trouble when she arrived at the airport, as she’d already begun recording herself before she even interacted with any officials.
‘Let’s see what happens!’ she said to the camera.
‘So far, I have refused to stay in a hotel because I’m a Canadian citizen. I’m refusing to do the COVID test, because I’m a Canadian citizen,’ she said.
Being a citizen of a country does not exempt one from following the laws or ordinances of that country. Toronto currently requires all residents to self isolate for 14 days if they travel out of the province.
The local authority also has a mask mandate in place for anyone who is in a public place, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so.
Thus far, Canada has seen more than 888,000 COVID cases, and 22,258 people have died from the virus.
After Jessica stopped filming for several moments, she came back to say that she had just been in a ‘screaming match with border security.’
The camera cut to a border security agent telling Jessica that she needed to respect everyone around her — which she insisted she was doing.
‘I’m a frontline worker, actually, I’m considered a hero. I’m a registered nurse,’ she told him. ‘I have freedom of speech, I can do what I want.’
Jessica told the agents: ‘I’m a frontline worker, actually, I’m considered a hero. I’m a registered nurse. I have freedom of speech, I can do what I want’
‘They tried to shame me because I’m a nurse and I should know better. And it’s all f***ing bulls***,’ she said
‘They basically just wanted to shut me up, escort me out, so that other people couldn’t hear what I was saying, because I was saying it to every person in the airport,’ she said
The border security agent reminded her that she was in a custom control area and she needed to respect the workers there.
After another recording intermission, Jessica — who claims to have had two negative COVID tests before boarding the plane — filmed herself as she left the airport.
‘The moral of the story is, I walked out. I didn’t even get a f***ing ticket. They said they’d mail it to me,’ she said.
‘They tried to shame me because I’m a nurse and I should know better. And it’s all f***ing bulls***.
‘They basically just wanted to shut me up, escort me out, so that other people couldn’t hear what I was saying, because I was saying it to every person in the airport.’
At home, after having some time to ‘digest’ what happened, Jessica said the ‘part that bothered me the most was that the officers were really rude to me.’
‘The public health nurses were extremely rude to me, shaming me, saying I should know better [because] I’m a nurse, threatening to report me to the College of Nurses.
Trouble? The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), her province’s nursing regulatory body, has said that it has notified the appropriate people to investigate
Rules: Nurses are publicly accountable to the CNO and have a responsibility to not ‘communicate anti-vaccination, anti-masking, and anti-distancing statements’
As it turned out, the public health nurses didn’t need to report her — because Jessica inadvertently reported herself by posting her video rants.
The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), her province’s nursing regulatory body, has replied to several Twitter users and promised to notify the appropriate people.
According to the CNO, when nurses speak publicly and identify themselves as nurses, they’re accountable to the CNO.
The CNO’s website says: ‘Nurses have a professional responsibility to not publicly communicate anti-vaccination, anti-masking, and anti-distancing statements that contradict the available scientific evidence. Doing so may result in an investigation by CNO, and disciplinary proceedings when warranted.’
Meanwhile, Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, told the CBC that Jessica displayed ‘offensive behaviors that are unprofessional and that contravene public health measures.’
‘To have this video surfacing on social media at the same time thousands and thousands of RNs, RPNs, NPs and other health professionals are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week protecting Ontarians and trying to save lives is unfathomable,’ Grinspun said.
Jessica said: ‘I would be genuinely disgusted if my license got taken away for having an opinion and exercising my rights’
Listen up! She has continued to dig her heels in, calling the reaction at the airport ‘insanity’
Jessica, meanwhile, is still digging her heels in.
‘This is absolute insanity. We need to stick together. I’m completely allowed to have my own opinion based on working in hospitals, on COVID floors, in long-term homes,’ she said.
She has continued to rant against COVID restrictions, insisting that the virus — which has claimed 2.59 million deaths worldwide and left countless suffering from longterm symptoms — is not that dangerous.
‘You know why they don’t want you traveling?’ she wrote,’ captioning an image of what looks like a remote village in Tanzania. ‘Or make it very hard for you to travel … because they don’t want you to realize how other countries have little to no restrictions and are living normally.
‘A plane full of negative covid swabs must still wear masks on the plane and quarantine when you get home BUT if you drive through the border through the States you don’t have to quarantine? Please tell me how this makes sense?’
Masks and quarantines are still necessary after a negative COVID test due to the possibility of a false negative. It is also possible that a person who has recently contracted the virus — like the day before a flight — would not yet have symptoms or register a negative test.
She has continued to rant against COVID restrictions, insisting that the virus — which has claimed 2.59 million deaths worldwide — is not that dangerous
Jessica’s claim that those who arrive in Canada via the US by car do not have to quarantine is also incorrect.
According to the government’s website, ‘People who travel, regardless of citizenship, will need to follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep Canadians safe, particularly given the new COVID-19 variants in Canada and around the world.’
On a page titled ‘Driving to Canada requirements checklist,’ the government says those who arrive that way must ‘have your ArriveCAN receipt, test results, and quarantine plans ready for assessment by a Border Services Officer,’ ‘take a test upon arrival,’ and ‘go directly to your place of quarantine.’
But Jessica told The Toronto Sun: ‘I’m not saying COVID isn’t real. I’m disputing the measures the government is putting in place for a virus that has a 98 per cent survival rate.
‘Masking people and children, oppressing health-care workers’ opinions that go against the grain, socially isolating people, and instilling fear into Canadians … is not how we solve this problem.’
She added that she has not yet heard from the CNO.
‘I would be genuinely disgusted if my license got taken away for having an opinion and exercising my rights.’