Provinces across Canada are imposing steep fines for not social distancing
With growing concerns that some Canadians may not be taking the order of social distancing as seriously as they need to in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, provincial governments are starting to invoke a firmer hand.
P.E.I. officials revealed earlier this week that residents may be fined up to $10,000 for not self-isolating for 14 days after recent international or domestic travel. (Saskatchewan has recently done the same, imposing fines up to $2,000.)
The island, which currently has three active cases of the communicable disease, is now enforcing new screening measures at its ports of entry.
As much as i love people getting fines for doing stupid things, i hope in this case no money is collected. Come on people-dont be a #COVIDIOTS— Anna-Marie Arsenault 💗👼💜💙 (@anna_arsenault) March 23, 2020
Northwest Territories also secured its borders over last weekend, banning most incoming travel after it confirmed its first case of the communicable disease.
Meanwhile, non-essential businesses who don't abide by new rules to close their doors to the public to encourage social distancing now face fines of up to $7,500 in Nova Scotia, $50,000 in B.C. and $500,000 in both Ontario and Manitoba.
Individuals found gathering in groups will also risk being fined for non-compliance — $1,000 or more in Quebec, Nova Scotia, B.C. and Ontario. (It is worth noting that in provinces like Nova Scotia, "a group" is now considered as few as five people.)
#Everybody - we must #PlanktheCurve for 🇨🇦!— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) March 23, 2020
➡️#SocialDistancing: keep 2 metres away from others; no visitors, no playdates
➡️#Washyourhands well & frequently
➡️Disinfect surfaces & high touch objects#COVID19 #StrongerTogether #FlattentheCurve
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has directed members of the community to call the police if they see someone who is not following orders to self-isolate, and police across Canada have been given the green light to enforce social distancing directives from provincial and municipal governments.
At least one Canadian, a resident of Quebec City, has already been arrested for not staying indoors as asked; police found the individual out and about in public on Friday after she had been diagnosed with the novel virus.
You need to stay home. And so do your friends and family members. Help spread the word with your own video - and tag your friends to remind them to stay home too. And together, we can #PlankTheCurve. @MichaelBuble and @VancityReynolds - can you help? #StayAtHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/f1PQQrzMIK— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 23, 2020
The federal government is also considering punishment for those who don't heed now-ubiquitous social distancing advice: Canadian Minister of Health Patty Hadju said at a recent press conference that if people continue to defy recommendations to stay home, "the advice will not be just advice."
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