RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)

B.C. traveller fined $1,000 for not following mandatory social-isolation rules

RCMP have had to follow up with more than 2,000 home visits to ensure COVID-19 law being followed

A Richmond resident has been fined $1,000 for not following federal and provincial orders to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in Canada from international travelling.

The fine is one of four tickets that have been issued for failing to follow the Quarantine Act since it was brought into effect in late-March, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed to Black Press Media on Thursday (May 21).

Anyone who enters Canada from outside of the country must self-isolate for 14 days in order to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19.

Since then, RCMP has been tasked by the Public Health Agency of Canada to help enforce self-isolation procedures, by showing up at residences if health officials cannot get in contact with the person by phone or email.

As of May 13, nearly 2,200 home visits were made to ensure recently arrived Canadians were complying with the rules.

That includes 254 checks in B.C. that were specifically requested from the federal health agency, data shows.

More than 4,500 people have been ticketed or charged on separate occasions for alleged COVID-19 related violations across Canada.

ALSO READ: ‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

“Local law enforcement, based on their expertise and operational requirements, will follow-up as they view most appropriate, and may not always report back the results to PHAC,” a statement from the public health agency said in a statement. “Even if they find a violation, they may choose to use a different instrument for enforcement.”

Provinces have implemented individual approaches to handling those who don’t follow the rules. In B.C., travellers must have a substantial plan on how they will stay in quarantine upon arrival to Vancouver International Airport in order to be allowed to continue home.

More than 14,500 people returned to B.C. from April 15 to April 30, by air travel or at land borders, according to the most recent data available from the province. Of those, 500 travellers who didn’t respond to self-isolation check-ins were visited by police at request of provincial health officials.

As the country slowly eases social contact restrictions in individual provinces, many Canadians are watching closely for when the federal government decides to open its borders up again, specifically with the U.S.

Health officials have said it is too soon to say what that reopening plan would look like, and what requirements or protocols would be involved.

“As we look to the future, and we think of opening up our borders and increasing travel volumes, we will need to be ever vigilant in our approach,” the federal health agency said.

“We continue to trust Canadians to make the right decisions and do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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