A group of Canadian influencers is stranded in Cancun and along Mexico’s Caribbean coast after Sunwing refused to let them board their flight back home.
The refusal came after videos went viral of the influencers partying maskless on their flight to Mexico, and upon arrival, disregarding COVID-19 restrictions.
In a press statement, the airline stated that it had asked the group to comply with certain conditions upon their return, but that the group clearly did not comply which is what led them to cancel their return flight.
The group then tried to book flights on other airlines including AirTransat and Air Canada but were ultimately refused seats.
“We confirm that they will be denied boarding under our legal and regulatory obligations to ensure the safety of our passengers and crew, which is our top priority,” said an Air Canada spokesperson via Twitter.
To add insult to injury, the group was publicly branded as “idiots” by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The travelers could be fined up to nearly $4,000 CAN per offense if Transport Canada determines they were not complying with COVID-19 safety regulations.
The stranded travelers, including Rebecca St-Pierre of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, say they are stranded indefinitely in Cancun with no way home.
“Of course we regret it, but we did not think it was that big a deal,” said St-Pierre, who has since tested positive for COVID-19 and is in quarantine in a Tulum hotel.
Barring their ability to board a flight, the influencers will likely return home by land, a drive estimated at least 61 hours, without any stops.
Although many parts of the world have virtually done away with facemasks, this is not the case in Mexico where the use of face and nose coverings remains compulsory.
This however has not stopped many tourists from going maskless down the streets of colonial cities like Mérida and Valladolid, and beaches including Cancun and Playa del Carmen.