Attention travellers: Violating any instructions provided when you entered 🇨🇦 is an offence under the Quarantine Ac… https://t.co/SwS61167oI
— Health Canada and PHAC (@Health Canada and PHAC)1609621221.0
In a tweet shared on January 2, just days after officials promised to crack down on rule-breakers, Health Canada warned that “violating any instructions provided when you entered [Canada] is an offence under the Quarantine Act.”
Per their notice, failing to quarantine for 14 days as directed could result in “up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.”
In a press conference last week, Canadian officials announced plans to make negative COVID-19 tests mandatory for incoming travellers, as well as stricter enforcement of the quarantine period.
According to the Government of Canada, failing to respect these mandatory requirements is “a serious offence with consequences and penalties.”
On December 29, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) revealed that the country’s current border control measures are “working” in the fight against COVID-19.
Only around 2% of Canada’s known cases have originated from travel outside of the country, although several Canadians have now tested positive for the U.K. variant of COVID-19, which is believed to be up to 70% more contagious.
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On Sunday morning, May 16, Pastor Henry Hildebrandt led a service outside of the church at 10:30 a.m. The Church of God at Aylmer posted on Facebook the building "may be locked, but our God deserves all honour, glory, and praise."
A live stream was posted to YouTube and its Facebook page, which CBC News reports had 200 to 250 churchgoers present at the service without masks. In a court ruling on Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas instructed that the church remain closed until the provincial government permits public indoor gatherings at a 30% occupancy rate.
Pastor Hildebrandt apparently commented on the locked doors during his sermon, saying that churchgoers are at the service today "because we have the authority of God on our side."
David Musyj, CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, reached out to the Public Health Agency of Canada to push for the ability for residents to travel to Detroit, MI, to receive a vaccine dose, or to have excess vaccinations be sent up to Windsor.
We’re still waiting to hear back on @WRHospital’s proposal to @GovCanHealth to allow Windsor to receive vaccine sup… https://t.co/hWJIWfUNaH
In an email sent to Narcity, Musyj confirmed anyone who travels to the U.S. for a vaccine may not have to quarantine for 14 days when they return as it is considered an "essential medical service or treatment."
PHAC wrote to Musyj saying travellers must provide certain documentation to border control when crossing.
Written evidence from a licensed Canadian healthcare practitioner that states medical services or treatments outside of the country are essential is required. A traveller also needs written evidence from a licensed health care practitioner in the U.S. to verify these services are able to be provided.
Anyone travelling to the U.S. for a vaccine must also ride in a private vehicle, have a vaccination appointment, and cannot stop for any other reason.
According to CTV News, Mayor Drew Dilkens proposed a motion at the city's council meeting Monday, May 17, asking the federal and provincial governments to work with public health officials in Detroit. He wants them to allow Windsor-Essex residents to "take advantage of numerous offers from U.S. officials to make surplus vaccines available to Canadians without a requirement to quarantine."
Mayor Dilkens is hoping Windsorites can have a "fully vaccinated" summer, instead of the one-dose summer that has been promised by the federal government.