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Canada Now Requiring All Who Cross its Borders to Self-Quarantine

Failure to follow quarantine orders could result in enormous fines and prison time

Canada’s Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, has given an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act that requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate for 14 days regardless of whether they have symptoms of COVID-19.

The order is being managed by the Canada Border Services Agency at points of entry and went into effect midnight Thursday. Failure to comply with this Order is now an offense that could bring a maximum penalty fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. Further, a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person while willfully or recklessly contravening these regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or to imprisonment of up to three years, or to both. Spot checks will be conducted by the Government of Canada to verify compliance.  

All individuals who are permitted to enter Canada must abide by this order, with the exception of certain persons who cross the border regularly to ensure the continued flow of goods and services, and those who provide essential services. Individuals exempt from the Order will still need to practice social distancing and self-monitoring and contact their local public health authority if they feel sick.  

Individuals displaying symptoms of COVID-19 after arriving in Canada may not use public transportation to travel to their place of isolation. They also may not isolate in a place where they will be in contact with vulnerable people, such as seniors and individuals with underlying health conditions.

“The number of cases of COVID-19 is increasing daily-–both at home and globally. Earlier this month, we asked travelers entering Canada to self-isolate for 14 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. To protect the health and safety of returning Canadians and those who are around them, we are strengthening our measures at the border. Travelers returning to Canada will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation under the Quarantine Act,” the Canadian health minister said in a statement.