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COVID-19 Fines In Canada Can Be Pretty High & People Could Even Face Jail Time

Would you gather in large groups even though you're not supposed to or go out if you've been ordered to isolate? People who do could face serious consequences. COVID-19 fines in Canada for disobeying social distancing or isolation differ between provinces in territories but they'll cost you a lot of money and you could even get jail time.

Across Canada, provinces, territories and even some cities are getting serious about COVID-19 and there are some pretty hefty penalties for people who don't heed the warnings.

If people don't keep their distance, continue to gather in groups or break their isolation or quarantine, they could be slapped with fines and even jail time.

Nearly every province and territory have penalties set up but the exact consequences of disobeying vary.

On March 21, Patty Hajdu, the minister of health, said that if Canadians choose to ignore the warnings from health officials, more strict measures could be put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Canada will now be enforcing a mandatory 14-day self-isolation for people returning to Canada which comes into effect on March 26. Those who don't comply with that could face fines or jail time.

While the other province and two territories could join in, these are the 10 places in Canada that have strict penalties in place now.


On March 23, Vancouver city council voted in favour of a motion that makes not complying with the state of emergency bylaw an offence.

There could be penalties up to $50,000 for violating a city order and individuals who don't physically distance themselves from others in certain areas could get fined up to $1,000.


For people who break their isolation in Alberta, they could face a fine of $100.

That means anyone who has tested positive and anyone who is in mandatory isolation because of recent travel or because they have shown symptoms.

This also applies to people at a gathering of more than 50 people.

Premier Jason Kenney hasn't ruled out increasing the penalty.

Northwest Territories

After confirming the territory's first COVID-19 case, the chief public health officer made an order that prohibited travel to the NWT.

Disobeying anything in that order, which includes self-isolation after returning to the territory, is punishable by law and could result in a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in jail.


Premier Scott More signed an order on March 20 that demanded all orders of the government and the chief medical officer be followed as provincial law.

If disobeyed, there could be fines issued.

Not complying with self-isolation after coming back to the province from international travel could mean owing $2,000.


Manitoba issued a state of emergency and several orders came with it, including a limit on how many people can gather together and what businesses can stay open.

If people defy the orders, they can face a penalty of up to $50,000 or up to six months in jail for each offence if found guilty.


In Ontario, the OPP will be cracking down on people in the province that don't comply with new rules like not gathering in groups of 50 people or more.

Individuals could have to pay up to $1,000.

Also, in Toronto, people found to be violating emergency orders could be penalized up to $100,000 and face up to one year in jail.


In Quebec, a woman was actually arrested for violating an isolation order after testing positive for COVID-19.

When someone gets an order to go into isolation, police are asked to do surveillance to make sure that the person complies.


As of March 23, law enforcement in P.E.I. can issue fines to people who don't follow orders to self-isolate during the pandemic.

They start at $1,000 for the first offence, $2,000 for the second offence and $3,000 for the third offence and any ones after that.

Nova Scotia

Under the state of emergency that's been issued in Nova Scotia, police have the authority to enforce orders and serve fines.

Any individual that doesn't practice social distancing and self-isolation will face penalties of $1,000.

A person can get multiple fines in a single day.

Newfoundland & Labrador

In Newfoundland & Labrador, gatherings of more than 50 people are banned and anyone coming from another country or another part of Canada has to self-isolate for 14 days.

The penalties for a person not complying with the new rules include a fine of $2,500 and a jail sentence of up to six months.

A woman was arrested on March 24 for refusing to self-isolate after coming back from a trip to another part of Canada.

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