canada social distancing

These are the social distancing rules and fines across Canada for COVID-19 right now

Social distancing rules and fines across Canada for COVID-19 might not be that clear to some. Can you be fined for having a barbecue in the park? What about gathering in groups of more than 10?

Canada has already implemented the Quarantine Act, which means all returning travellers that refuse to self-isolate for 14 days can face fines up to $1 million and three years in jail.

However, the fines for refusing to social distance — which means avoiding group gatherings and staying two meters apart from people — varies by province.

Here's what you need to know.

British Columbia

The provincial government has banned any gatherings of more than 50 people, but enforcement officers can only give "warnings, information and advice" — they can't actually issue fines.

Vancouver, however, is issuing fines for rule-breakers of up to $1,000 for individuals and up to $50,000 for businesses.

Alberta

The provincial government says that individuals exceeding the 15-person limit on gatherings may be subject to tickets of $1,000 per occurrence.

Courts could administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.

Manitoba

Premier Brian Pallister says the province will work with municipal and First Nation police forces to ensure that social distancing fines are enforced across the province.

Canadians exceeding the 10-person limit on gatherings will face fines of $486, and businesses that don't ensure proper distance between customers will be fined $2,542.

The City of Winnipeg has also said that it will issue fines up to $1,000 and six months in prison for rule-breakers.

Saskatchewan

The provincial government has banned gatherings of more than 10 people, although they have yet to announce any fines for rule-breakers.

As of April 2, the Saskatchewan RCMP said that they have received 57 complaints of social gatherings over 10, which resulted in seven warnings issued and "one charge laid," although it's unclear what that charge is.

Ontario

The provincial government says that individuals exceeding the 5-person limit on gatherings may be subject to tickets between $750 to $100,000, and one year in jail. 

Toronto is also issuing fines of $1,000 (up to $5,000 in court) for individuals that are violating the rules.

Quebec

The provincial government says that individuals in violation of the ban on public gatherings may face fines between $1,000 and $6,000.

As of April 6, Quebec police have issued 157 tickets to citizens not following physical distancing orders. Montreal police have issued 146 ticket.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland health officials say that an individual exceeding the five person limit will be fined up to $2,500 and up to six months of jail time. Corporations face a fine up to $50,000.

Nova Scotia

Premier Stephen McNeil says that any person not practicing social distancing will face a fine up to $1,000. Businesses may face fines up to $7,500.

The province has banned all gatherings of more than five people.

Nova Scotia RCMP have laid 54 charges related to COVID-19 violations as of April 7.

New Brunswick

The province has banned all gatherings of more than 10 people, and rule-breakers can face fines ranging from $292.50 to $10,200.

Premier Blaine Higgs has confirmed that "nine or ten" fines have been given out to people in violation of orders related to COVID-19.

Prince Edward Island

The province has banned all gatherings of more than five people, and offenders can face fines up to $1,000 for a first offence, $2,000 for a second offence and a $10,000 for a third and any subsequent offences.

Third and subsequent offences can also be accompanied by up to six months of jail time.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in News

More than 12K Americans have tried to visit Canada since the start of COVID-19

Canadians should be prepared to deal with COVID-19 until at least 2022

Cineplex says it lost $100 million after being forced to close cinemas in Canada

The Canada-U.S. border closure has officially been extended again

People seen breaking COVID-19 rules at a Vancouver nightclub

Canada's only Trump Hotel warns about COVID-19 exposure

Police in Canada seize enough drugs to kill over 75K people in record breaking seizure

Racist stickers spotted at restaurant in B.C. but owner refuses to remove them