How Canada enforces mandatory quarantine plan on incoming travellers

Travellers must show border officers that they have an adequate plan to quarantine for two weeks, even if they don’t have coronavirus symptoms

Most travellers are currently expected to have a 14-day quarantine plan when coming to Canada, and if they don’t follow it they could face fines or jail time.

Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been enforcing the mandatory quarantine period to travellers since April 15. They have also been trained to check people for symptoms of COVID-19.

These plans must be made before the traveller attempts to cross the border. There are different quarantine instructions for symptomatic and asymptomatic travellers but a CBSA spokesperson told CIC News that all may be subject to questions like:

  • “Do you have accommodation where you can quarantine for 14 days?
  • “Are there vulnerable people at the location where you plan to quarantine?”
  • “Can you have food, medication, or other necessities delivered to your accommodation while in quarantine?”

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Officers must be satisfied that the traveller will have access to basic needs while in quarantine, and not have contact with vulnerable people such as those with pre-existing medical conditions, or who are over age 65.

If the traveller does not have a suitable quarantine plan, they will be referred to a public health agency staff member. They may then be sent to a government-approved facility to carry out the quarantine requirement if they are still allowed to cross the border.

Travellers will have to complete a Traveller Contact Information Form, either on paper, online, or on a mobile app. Information provided on the form is given to the Public Health Agency of Canada to monitor and enforce the quarantine requirement. Those who are both asymptomatic and exempt from quarantine because they cross the border for work, such as truck drivers, do not have to complete the form.

The CBSA shares basic biographical data, contact information and quarantine-based information with the public health agency, who then determines when and how to share this information with provincial authorities and law enforcement.

Recently, two travellers have been charged for breaking the rules in Ontario, and they face a $1,000 fine, the Globe and Mail reports.

Quarantine requirements are currently in place until August 31.

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