quarantine act canada

This is how Canada will enforce the Quarantine Act for returning travelers

Canada's Quarantine Act is now underway, and the government is imposing a strict mandatory 14-day isolation for all travelers returning to the country.

Speaking outside Rideau Cottage on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his frustration that returning travellers are still "stopping by the grocery store" and "getting together with friends after being away for March break."

"This kind of conduct is not just disappointing," he said. "It's dangerous."

Now, Canada is unveiling unprecedented measures to ensure that travelers do not leave their homes.

According to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, returning travelers will be subject to "random checks" from public health officials to ensure that they're self-isolating.

Under the Quarantine Act, those who are not following the rules can face a fine of up to $1 million and as many as three years in prison.

Moreover, Tam revealed that Canada will introduce stricter measures at airports across the country.

Asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to travel from the airport to their homes by their own means, and they will be provided with a mask to wear on their journey "should they become ill."

Symptomatic travellers will be provided with medical transportation. If those travelers can't get home or they live with vulnerable individuals, they will be put "in a federal quarantine" site.

Tam confirmed that there are multiple Canadians currently being held in federal quarantine sites, including a Vancouver individual who is sick, a couple from Quebec that lives with an immunocompromised individual, and a truck driver who is sick.

Still, Tam emphasized that "very, very few people" are being held in these facilities.

"Overall, I have to say Canadians are very collaborative," she said, adding that the Quarantine Act simply introduces "an additional message about the seriousness of self-isolation."

Lead photo by

David Stewart

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