Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has closed all travel to the Caribbean and Mexico until April 30. While some countries are getting back to normal, Canada is enforcing “some of the strictest measures in the world.” According to the government, travellers can expect to pay for a three-day government-approved hotel stay, COVID-19 molecular test and surveillance upon arrival until their Covid-19 results come in.
Photo: courtesy of @justinpjtrudeau
“Non-essential trips to sun destinations will be cancelled, and airlines will suspend services to Mexico and the Caribbean. All international passenger flights must land at the following four airports: Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. We’re introducing mandatory PCR testing at airports, and passengers returning to Canada will have to quarantine at an approved hotel — at their own expense — while they wait for their results. These measures are some of the strictest in the world,” Trudeau posted on Instagram.
In a news conference in Ottawa, Trudeau said those coming back into Canada will require documented proof of pre-boarding testing. Starting next week, there will be mandatory PCR testing upon arrival. Travellers will have to wait at an approved hotel for three days, which is expected to cost individuals up to $2,000. Those with negative tests will then be able to quarantine for the required 14 days at home under “significantly increased surveillance and enforcement.” Those with positive tests will be required to quarantine in the designated government facilities.
According to the Quarantine Act, Emergency orders, section 58 (1), the Governor in Council may make an order prohibiting or subjecting to any condition the entry into Canada of any class of persons who have been in a foreign country or a specified part of a foreign country if the Governor in Council is of the opinion that:
- (a) there is an outbreak of a communicable disease in the foreign country;
- (b) the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health in Canada;
- (c) the entry of members of that class of persons into Canada may introduce or contribute to the spread of the communicable disease in Canada; and
- (d) no reasonable alternatives to prevent the introduction or spread of the disease are available.
Regarding the quarantine facility regulations, according to the Quarantine Act, Offences and Punishment section 65 (2), no person shall leave a quarantine facility without the authorization of a quarantine officer.
Punishment for breaking the Quarantine Act can result in a fine of not more than $1,000,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than three years or both and on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $300,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.
According to the Quarantine Act, it seems that the government has set emergency regulations that permit them to enforce these regulations on individuals before a scheduled court appearance.
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