Canada introduces stricter quarantine rules for travellers returning from abroad
The federal government just announced even stricter quarantine rules for any travellers returning to Canada from abroad, including a new measure that requires residents to check in to a hotel or other designated site unless they have an acceptable self-quarantine plan.
The government announced Tuesday that all returnees, regardless of whether or not they're experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, must be able to demonstrate that they have a quarantine plan in advance.
We’re working to make sure everyone has access to the food, supplies, health care, and services they need during this tough time. Tune in now for my daily update on our response to COVID-19 and the steps we’re taking: https://t.co/nnhByk4obr— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 14, 2020
The plan is required to include ways of accessing food and medication, and any returning travellers will not be permitted to live with anyone over the age of 65 or with pre-existing health conditions.
Anyone without a plan will be sent to a designated location to self-isolate, such as a hotel, which will be chosen by Canada’s chief public health officer.
Trudeau says returning travellers will have to quarantine in a hotel if they don't have a credible quarantine plan upon arrival in Canada. He is also announcing $20 million for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to boost the organization's capacity.— John Paul Tasker (@JPTasker) April 14, 2020
In addition to this new measure, the federal government also announced new regulatory amendments under the Contraventions Act.
These changes will make it easier for law enforcement agencies, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as well as local and provincial police forces, to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with orders under the Federal Quarantine Act.
"The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. It is essential that people who are required to isolate stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and that those who are required to quarantine do so," said Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair in a statement.
"We will use all tools at our disposal, including law enforcement checks as required, to ensure that everyone is obeying the law and doing their part."
Under the new ticketing regime, residents can choose to pay the fine voluntarily in order to avoid a trial and a criminal record.
"This will help save valuable court and enforcement agency resources, which is particularly important during this ongoing pandemic," notes a statement from the government.
"These amendments do not prevent law enforcement from pursuing a matter through the summary conviction procedure set out in the Criminal Code, should they deem that more serious action is warranted."
The new enforcement measures are simply in addition to provincial and municipal orders that have already been enacted in some jurisdictions, and they provide law enforcement with an additional tool to enforce public health rules.
Offences under the Quarantine Act could result in tickets with fines ranging from $275 to $1,000 based on the seriousness of the conduct, and they could also result in court proceedings under the Criminal Code.
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