The strict quarantine rules requiring travellers to isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada have been extended.
The federal government first introduced strict mandatory quarantine rules for returning Canadians on March 25 under an Order in Council that expires at 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday.
Under the original orders, all returning Canadians were told they had to self-isolate for 14 days and that they were forbidden to stop along the way home.
Once isolated, the traveller was required to report the development of any COVID-19 symptoms to public health officials.
A person who normally lives with an elderly person or someone with a compromised immune system, for example, would have to quarantine elsewhere.
In addition, travellers returning from abroad from April 15 on were required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings before they could proceed to their final destinations. Travellers without masks were provided with them.
If a traveller develops symptoms during a quarantine period, or is exposed to someone who does, the 14 days of isolation begins again.
If the Canada Border Services Agency suspects that a returning traveller is not going to comply with the rules, it can alert the Public Health Agency of Canada, which can then flag the RCMP’s national operations centre. The RCMP has been playing a coordinating role with local police during the pandemic.
Maximum penalties for failing to comply with the Quarantine Act include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. If someone jeopardizes another’s life while wilfully or recklessly contravening the act, the penalties are even greater: $1 million or three years in prison, or both.
By late May, police officers had made nearly 2,200 personal visits to ensure that Canadians were complying with the self-isolation rule once they’d crossed back into the country.
The federal government’s decision to close its border with the U.S. to all non-essential traffic was again extended last month — this time to at least July 21. -CINEWS