Canada to begin enforcing 14-day self-isolation for travellers

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But several hours later, government officials said the quarantine order had been in effect for more than 12 hours already.

The federal government announced tough new measures to make sure Canadians returning home from travel overseas isolate themselves from others.

"The health minister will be using powers she has under the Quarantine Act beginning at midnight tonight to impose a mandatory 14 period of isolation on all people coming into Canada from outside Canada", says Freeland.

The measures also make it tougher for those facing quarantine to get home, to keep the greater public safer from potential exposure to COVID-19.

The Health Minister went on to say "the Public Health Agency of Canada will be supporting people that are under the circumstance of not having a place to stay and or not having transportation that's private".

To ensure the rules are being followed, Hajdu said officials will collect travellers' contact information to follow up with them and there will be random inspections.

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A new order placed by the federal government makes self-isolation mandatory for anyone entering Canada, and with it comes fines along with possible jail time for failure to comply.

On Sunday, Hajdu said the government was looking at all the measures in their tool box, including criminal penalties.

Freeland said the issue of mandatory quarantines was debated at length during the Monday meeting of the cabinet coronavirus committee.

Global travel - initially from China, then Iran and South Korea, then Europe and now the United States - has continued to be a significant vector for the spread of the novel coronavirus. "It will get worse before it gets better".

According to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland there will be a few exceptions if they are deemed to be essential by the federal government. The Canada-U.S. border has also been closed to all non-essential travel.

"We need to be thoughtful about how the people who provide those essential services, including cross-border trade, are treated", she said.

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