The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) started recently to implement new procedures to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada.
As part of the enhanced screening measures at air, land and marine port of entries (POE), CBSA officers give masks to ill voyagers and escort them through the POE. The individuals have to provide their personal information to a public health authority for monitoring purposes and must self-isolate for 2 weeks.
Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus (Mandatory Isolation)
The Quarantine Act empowers the Canadian Minister of Health to screen travellers, establish quarantine stations, detain, fine and/or imprison people who do not comply with the order. The order will remain in effect until June 30, 2020.
For voyagers without symptoms of coronavirus
They may use public transportation to self-isolate for 2 weeks and practice physical distancing (2 metres). See handout for more details.
For travellers with symptoms of coronavirus
They must wear masks in public, use private transportation only and avoid contact with other persons, in particular, with vulnerable people (older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions). Furthermore, they must quarantine for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms (fever, cough and difficulty breathing). See the fact sheet for more information.
Detention in a quarantine facility
If they are not able or willing to self-isolate, they will be quarantined for 2 weeks in a facility chosen by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.
Failure to comply with the order could lead to up to 6 months in prison and/or C$750,000 in fines. Further, a person who causes a risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm to another person could be fined up to C$1,000,000 or jailed up to three years or both.
The Canadian government may only declare a “public welfare emergency” under the Emergencies Act when all federal laws and efforts are inadequate to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Brace yourself for the declaration, because then the federal government may regulate travel within Canada as well.
Information provided in this article does not constitute immigration or citizenship advice. Only authorised representatives are allowed to assist applicants with immigration and citizenship services for a fee. In addition, immigration laws, regulations, and policies are changing constantly.
If you need help with the assessment of your case, then obtain sound advice from Mrs. Katharina Kontaxis, RCIC. Only with a proper case strategy can you reach your goal of Canadian permanent residence or Canadian citizenship.
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