RCMP officer in uniform hat. (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

Police across the country will soon be enforcing the government’s mandatory quarantine laws, including visiting the homes of newly arrived travellers to ensure they’re following the rules.

RCMP said in a news release Friday that the police force had been asked by the Public Health Agency of Canada to help enforce the Quarantine Act Order, which was declared by the federal Health Minister Patty Hadju on March 25.

Under the order, anyone arriving into Canada – including snowbirds and those being repatriated by the government – must stay in self-isolation for 14 days upon arrival.

“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.

THERE CAN BE NO AMBIGUITY’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

House checks will be be implemented only in cases where federal health officials have done initial verification of compliance by phone, text or e-mail and determine further verification by police is necessary.

Those who violate the order face fines up to $750,000 and six months in prison, while “willfully or recklessly contravening this Act or the regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or to both,” the RCMP warned.

Police said that arrests would be a last resort “based on the circumstances and the officer’s risk assessment.” Instead, the officer can issue those charged with a notice or summons requiring them to appear in court.

Many people – including provincial leaders – have been critical of the federal government’s rollout of screening measures at airports, after arriving travellers reported little to no screening while others reported that they knew people who weren’t following the mandated self-isolation protocols.

Earlier this week, B.C. Premier John Horgan unveiled new measures for those arriving in the province from international flights, including a mandatory self-isolation form which travellers would have to produce in order to be allowed through security.

If the plan isn’t acceptable to officials, travellers will be sent to a designated quarantine facility for 14 days under the powers of the federal Quarantine Act, he said.

READ MORE: Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

During his Friday briefing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted that current orders and provisions to reduce the spread of the virus could be relaxed in the summer so long as people remain vigilant and physically distance now.

“If we do things right, this will be the first and worst phase that we go through as a country in terms of COVID-19,” Trudeau said.

“It is possible we may be out of that wave this summer, and at that point we will be able to talk about loosening up some the rules that are in place.”

Trudeau has said that Canadians should expect the ongoing orders to become the norm for the next 12 to 18 months, or until a vaccine is developed.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Two candidates declared for Columbia River Revelstoke

Incumbent Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal) and NDP candidate Nicole Cherlet; nominations close Oct. 2

Dynamiters camp runs smoothly despite COVID-19 restrictions

Head Coach Stuart impressed with veterans, rookies, young local talent

Cranbrook, Kimberley communities participate in World Clean Up Day

The Columbia Outdoor School and JCI Kootenay partnered up to host events in three locations

Confirmed COVID-19 case at J.A. Laird School in Invermere

The S.D.6 Superintendent has notified families

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

First full day of B.C.’s election campaign begins amid COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and the Green party’s Sonia Furstenau criticized John Horgan’s decision

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. privacy commissioner will hear First Nations complaints about COVID

The hearing will rely on written submissions from the Indigenous governments as well as the Ministry of Health

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

Paper towel in short supply as people stay home, clean more, industry leader says

While toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels

Most Read