BREAKING: Federal government to legally mandate 14-day isolation period for people arriving in Canada

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On March 25, the federal government announced that it plans to impose legal penalties on those who defy the government’s order to self-isolate for 14 days after returning to Canada from a different country. 

The announcement was made by Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health.

Earlier this month, we asked all travellers to self-isolate when they returned to Canada. Today, we are making this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable,” Hajdu said in a tweet. 

People returning to Canada with any symptoms will also be unable to use public transit to get home. 

At a press conference, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the new penalties will come into effect at midnight tonight, adding that the idea was discussed at length on Monday at a cabinet meeting.

All Canadians have been working very hard to practice physical distancing in their lives. We’ve been urgently advising people coming into Canada to self-isolate for 14 days. Now is the time to make that measure mandatory,” Freeland told reporters. 

This will get worse before it gets better, we’re lucky to have an outstanding healthcare system, but we all need to do what we need to do to plank the curve.”

Freeland said these restrictions will not apply to essential workers, adding that more information on enforcement measures will come later today.  

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