With the rising risk of COVID-19, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced that as of midnight, all travelers coming back into the country would be required to enter a 14 day quarantine, except for those who the government considers “essential workers.”
“This new measure will provide the clarity for those re-entering the country about the essential need to self-isolate,” she disclosed to the Senate, while discussing the Liberal government’s emergency legislation that will provide billions to aid Canadians in the economic crisis.
“Individuals who exhibit symptoms upon arrival in Canada will be forbidden, also, from using public transit to travel to their places of isolation.”
Hajdu stated that while quarantining, travelers must do so away from vulnerable people, such as elderly or those that have a health condition. The Health Minister stated that the Public Health Agency of Canada would make the necessary provisions in those cases.
Although since March the government has been adamant that anyone entering Canada stay isolated, this new Quarantine Act means it is a legal requirement.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, officials will be keeping track of returning travelers and repercussions will be enforced if the measures are not taken seriously.
“But let me emphasize, you should be doing this already,” she told reporters during a briefing on Parliament Hill Wednesday. “It’s a serious further step.”
Several provinces, who have enforced their own emergency measures, took action against those violating them. A woman, who had tested positive for COVID-19, was arrested after she took a walk, consequently breaking a quarantine order.