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

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service moves to E-Comm

AFRS becomes the 16th fire department in the Lower Mainland to join system

Body of Maple Ridge man recovered near Harrison Lake

21-year-old last seen on May 16 when he fell into Silver Creek

Missing since 2016, Marie Stuart’s remains found in Abbotsford

Pregnant Abbotsford woman was last seen in December 2016

Fraser Valley Bandits sign Washington State University product

CEBL club signs defensive specialist Marcus Capers for 2020 season

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Soggy dog plucked from Vedder River by Chilliwack Search and Rescue

A 10 month old puppy bit off far more than she could chew throwing herself into the rushing river

Most Read