Ottawa, April 11 (IANS) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced that it will begin visiting homes in the country to enforce the government’s Quarantine Act Order against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RCMP said in a statement on Friday that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is requesting that police agencies across the country provide physical verification that individuals subject to the mandatory order were complying with isolation and quarantine (self-isolation) requirements.
These checks will generally be limited to the persons who, after PHAC has done initial verifications by phone, text or e-mail, may require a physical verification by police.
Under the March 25 Quarantine Act Order, everyone who arrives in Canada must stay at home for 14 days.
Police will speak to those under quarantine and advise them of the potential consequences of non-compliance and caution that violators could face significant penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
Currently, individuals charged under the Quarantine Act can be issued a court appearance notice or summons, rather than being taken into custody.
Arrests would be a last resort, based on the circumstances and the police officer’s risk assessment.
“Choosing to ignore mandatory isolation and quarantine orders is not only against the law, it’s also putting citizens, first responders, health professionals and the most vulnerable at risk of exposure to the virus,” said RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki.
Canada has so far reported 22,148 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 570 deaths.