A woman in Canada has been arrested for refusing to self-isolate and she could go to jail
In the latest example of provinces beginning to enforce orders for members of the public to self-isolate after recent travel, a Newfoundland woman was arrested on Tuesday after being found out and about within 14 days of returning from out of town.
Though most provinces have been advising those who have just gotten back from international trips to self-isolate for two weeks for fear of potential novel coronavirus infection, Newfoundland is among a few that now consider any out-of-province travel — even within Canada — to be a community risk right now.
The 53-year-old suspect, who spent a night behind bars, now faces a fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to six months of jail time under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act. The police had the authority to make such an arrest now that Newfoundland has declared a state of emergency.
RNC Make Arrest Related to Public Health Protection. Check out the link for further information. #YourRNC https://t.co/GwDdF2u1FB— Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (@RNC_PoliceNL) March 25, 2020
Ontario, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have also declared provincial states of emergency, while Quebec, Alberta, P.E.I. Yukon, Nunavut and the Northewest Territories have all declared public health emergencies.
Both states allow respective governments to have greater powers than usual under these unprecedented circumstances, which can extend to things like controlling where people can and cannot go, and what services will be shuttered or remain open.
The federal government invoked the Quarantine Act on Wednesday, meaning that the it will now also start punishing those who don't heed social distancing recommendations.
Canada invokes Quarantine Act, forcing travellers to self-isolate upon return https://t.co/biCtv5fJ6I— Corrine Graves 🎶♊ (@Corrrine) March 25, 2020
Under the Act, anyone who does not comply with 14 day self-isolation after travelling outside of Canada will face fines up to a staggering $1 million and/or three years in prison.
A number of officials, such as Alberta premier Jason Kenney, have asked residents to call police if they know of anyone defying the rules.
A Quebec City resident was the first to be arrested for not staying home in quarantine as asked last week. Police found the individual in public after she had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
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