This is how Canada will enforce the Quarantine Act for returning travelers
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."
Earlier this month, we asked all travellers to self-isolate when they returned to Canada. Today, we are making this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable. pic.twitter.com/bKLdKh4mEu— Patty Hajdu (@PattyHajdu) March 25, 2020
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.
On the new mandatory self isolation for travellers returning to Canada, I'm told there will be random check ups to ensure compliance.— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) March 25, 2020
Penalties under the Quarantine Act could include a fine up to $1 million and/or up to three years in prison. #cdnpoli
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.
4/8 Today the #GOC began implementing new measures making 14-day isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act for all travellers coming to 🇨🇦. This is part of an all out effort to #SlowTheSpread.#FlattentheCurve #COVID19— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) March 26, 2020
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."
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