The RCMP says it has been asked by the Public Health Agency of Canada to help enforce quarantine measures that requires everyone arriving in the country to stay in isolation for 14 days.
Mounties will now check on people who recently returned to Canada and are under the mandatory two-week self-isolation. Failure to comply with the measures, announced on March 25 under the Quarnatine Act, could result in fines up to $750,000 or six months in jail.
People who have broken quarantine that results in COVID-19-related deaths could face fines up to $1 million and/or three years in prison.
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According to the RCMP, police agencies across Canada can provide “physical verification that individuals subject to the mandatory Order are complying with isolation and quarantine (self-isolation) requirements.”
In other words, the RCMP will be enforcing that people who are required to stay at home are in fact staying at home.
“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,” says RCMO Commissioner Brenda Lucki. “Collectively, everyone in Canada has a role to play to ensure compliance with isolation and physical distancing measures.”
When enforcing the Quarantine Act Order, RCMP offices will use a “risk-based and measured” approach to non-complying citizens, focusing on “encouragement.”
Officers will attempt to conduct physical verification with the individuals, while maintaining physical distancing, states the news release.
“Our officers will speak to the person, inform them of the law and explain the importance of compliance, as well as the potential consequences of non-compliance.”
Individuals charged under the Quarantine Act can be issued a court appearance notice instead of being taken into custody. Arrests could be a last resort, based on the “circumstance and the officer’s risk assessment.”
More information regarding the Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act Order can be found online.