The federal government is deploying the Quarantine Act in the fight against COVID-19, imposing mandatory self-isolation rules for any traveller returning to Canada with fines and even jail time for those who break the rules.
The legislation, which went into effect Wednesday, means people coming back to Canada are now legally required to go into self-isolation for 14 days.
“Unfortunately, there are a number of people who have not been following [public health] guidelines,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday. “We are implementing the Quarantine Act to keep all Canadians safe. If you do not comply with these instructions, you could face serious fines and even prison time.”
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As of Thursday morning, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers will start telling all returning Canadians and permanent residents of the new orders and explaining they’re forbidden from making any stops on their way home.
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“My officials are working with CBSA right now to ensure that people know that this will be serious and that there will be significant penalties if people violate the quarantine,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Wednesday.