Canada has made it mandatory for every traveller to present credible 14-day isolation or quarantine plan under new rules announced by the federal government to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The rules apply whether the traveller shows coronavirus symptoms or are asymptomatic.
The isolation cannot happen in a place where they would be in contact with vulnerable people, such as those aged 65 and older or those with pre-existing medical conditions, according to the new rules, which came into force on April 15, 2020.
Every traveller arriving in Canada will need to confirm they have a suitable place to isolate or quarantine, with access to basic necessities including food and medication.
Ottawa will conduct spot checks to ensure the new rules are being followed. Those failing to comply face a maximum fine of $750,000 or six months in jail.
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Minister of Health Patty Hajdu said there was a need to adjust Canada’s response ‘as our knowledge of COVID-19 evolves’.
“These changes will make it clearer to asymptomatic travellers arriving in Canada that they need to have an appropriate place to self-isolate, where they will not put any vulnerable people such as adults aged 65 years or over and people with pre-existing medical conditions at risk,” Hajdu said.
Those without access to an appropriate isolation destination must go to a place designated by Canadian authorities, such as a hotel.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Howard Njoo confirmed the federal government would pay accommodation costs of any new arrival required to isolation or quarantine in a government-designated location.
Every new arrival must wear a facemask until they reach their isolation or quarantine destination.
Exceptions to the rule include regular border crossers who ensure the flow of good and essential services, or those who receive or provide other essential services to Canadians. They do not have to quarantine themselves, provided they do not present symptoms of COVID-19.
Those who are exempt must still wear a mask upon entry to Canada and while in transit.
Anyone causing a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person by wilfully or recklessly contravening regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $1 million or three years in jail, or both.