VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The RCMP is getting involved to make sure people are taking quarantine orders seriously during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mounties will now check up on people who recently returned to Canada and are under a mandatory 14-day self-isolation.
This comes at the request of the Public Health Agency that asks all police agencies to check-in with people to make sure they are inside their homes and following public health orders.
“These checks will generally be limited to persons who, after PHAC has done initial verifications by phone, text or e-mail, may require a physical verification by police,” says a release.
Those found defying the orders under the Quarantine Act could see hefty fines and even jail time.
Failure to comply with the Quarantine Act could lead to fines of up to $750,000 or even six months in jail. And if a person caused serious bodily harm or imminent death by recklessly or willfully contravening the Act, they could see fines of up to $1,000,000 and/or three years in jail.
Under the Quarantine act, a person charged will receive a court notice or summons.
Arrests will only be used as a last resort since it would put officers and others at risk of exposure to the virus.
“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. Collectively, everyone in Canada has a role to play to ensure compliance with isolation and physical distancing measures,” says Brenda Lucki, RCMP Commissioner.
The Quarantine Act has been in effect since March 25.