The Canadian federal government is extending its quarantine rules that require travellers to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in Canada, reports say.
"It is the intention of the government to continue the 14-day mandatory self-isolation under the federal Quarantine Act," said a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity to CBC News.
The new order, notably, has not yet been finalized.
Canada’s Quarantine Act rules that travellers wear non-medical face masks until they can self-isolate after re-entering Canada.
The feds first introduced these mandatory quarantine rules for returning Canadians on March 25th under an Order in Council. The rules were set to expire today on Tuesday, June 30th.
It is still unclear as to how long the quarantine rules would be extended.
The original order dictated that all returning Canadians must self-isolate for 14 days. Returning citizens were also strictly forbidden to make stops along the way home.
The order was updated in April, stating:
"Every person must wear a non-medical mask or face covering that the screening officer or quarantine officer considers appropriate upon entry and while in transit to isolation or quarantine, unless the mask or face covering needs to be removed for security or safety reasons.”
If a traveller develops symptoms of COVID-19 during a quarantine period, or is exposed to someone who does have symptoms, the 14 days of isolation starts over.
It's the law
Canadians have a legal obligation to follow the self-isolation order.
The Canada Border Services Agency can intervene, for example, if it suspects that someone is not going to follow the rules.
It can, for one, alert the Public Health Agency of Canada, which can then contact the RCMP's national operations centre.
The RCMP has been working with local police during the pandemic to enforce the measures – by late May, police officers made nearly 2,200 personal visits to ensure Canadians were complying, CBC reports.
Maximum penalties for failing to comply with the Quarantine Act include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. If someone jeopardizes another's life while wilfully or recklessly contravening the act, the penalties are even greater: $1 million or three years in prison, or both.
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