Quarantine now mandatory for returning travellers

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / FER737NG

Quarantine for Canadians returning from abroad is no longer a suggestion, it is mandatory.

The federal government announced Wednesday that anyone coming back to Canada from another country must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the government is invoking the Quarantine Act to force returning travellers to self-isolate.

The move comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as Premier Doug Ford, demanded that people returning from abroad not stop at grocery stores on their way home, but rather go directly to their homes. The quarantine order goes into effect at midnight.

“We have, for some time now, urgently advising people coming into Canada to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. “We have decided that now is the time to make that measure mandatory. I think we all really appreciate that it so important to have this self-isolation to protect the health and safety of Canadians.”

Freeland said the measure is not retroactive for people who have already returned. But beginning Wednesday night, anyone who crosses the border into Canada will have their personal information recorded in order to help authorities monitor whether or not they are obeying the order.