mandatory quarantine canada

Canada just imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on all returning travellers

Canada is no longer politely asking residents to self-quarantine after they return home from travelling out of the country.

As of midnight this evening, anyone who comes into Canada from abroad must immediately go into a 14-day-long period of self-isolation.

That is not a suggestion, nor is it a recommendation. It's an order — and one that could lead to significant legal and financial troubles for anyone who defies it.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu invoked the federal Quarantine Act during an appearance at the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, suggesting that the rare move is now necessary to help slow the spread of COVID-19 within Canada, which is currently reporting 1,959 confirmed cases of the deadly virus.

"This new measure will provide the clarity for those re-entering the country about the essential need to self-isolate," said Hadju.

"Individuals who exhibit symptoms upon arrival in Canada will be forbidden, also, from using public transit to travel to their places of isolation."

Travellers will be forbidden from self-isolating in any place where they may come into contact with other vulnerable people, and can consult the Public Health Agency of Canada for alternative arrangements if they can't secure such a space on their own, according to Hadju.

Recent travellers will also be barred from using public transit, even to get from the airport to their place of self-quarantine. Border officials will begin taking contact information for all who entry the country beginning on Thursday to monitor whether or not they're self-isolating as is mandatory.

With the exception of essential workers, everyone coming into Canada must abide by the new order.

Hadju did not speak to the Senate about any particular penalties that would face those who violate it, but the quarantine act itself has some serious teeth.

Those who fail to comply with obligations imposed under the act risk fines of anywhere from $200,000 and / or six months in prison to $1 million and "imprisonment for a term of not more than three years.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland did say, however, that the measures would not be retroactive for people who've already entered Canada before midnight on Thursday.

Lead photo by

Sean Dawson

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in News

Someone just spotted one of the weirdest looking fish washed up in Canada

Bear in Calgary caught eating Halloween pumpkins while residents were sleeping

Vancouver woman shoved out of bus after spitting on a fellow passenger

Air Canada and WestJet bicker over plans to refund airline tickets

Poppy donation boxes in Canada will soon take credit cards

COVID internment camps in Canada don't exist despite what you might have heard

Canada won't be having a snap election this fall

Someone is setting fire to toilet paper at Walmart stores in Canada