The federal government is prepared to get serious. That was the message coming from officials on Wednesday, as they revealed possible changes to Canada's quarantine rules.

In a press conference on December 30, Canada’s government officials spoke again about the importance of avoiding non-essential travel outside of Canada right now.

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For Canadians who are choosing to ignore the federal travel advisories, we will be increasing quarantine verification.

Patty Hajdu

“We strongly advise against travel unless absolutely necessary,” explained Public Safety Minister Bill Blair during the conference.

He noted that anybody who chooses to travel will be subject to Canada’s Quarantine Act and those who fail to comply could face “serious consequences.”

"Because there is a higher volume of people who are likely to travel for non-essential purposes at this time of the year, we are taking additional steps,” Blair explained.

He said the government is “prepared to invest in additional follow-ups with phone calls, and home visits, and door knocks and enforcement if necessary to ensure that compliance."

Minister of Health Patty Hajdu reiterated the importance of avoiding foreign travel right now, noting that the number of public health officials at the border and following up with returning travellers had increased since March.

“For Canadians who are choosing to ignore the federal travel advisories, we will be increasing quarantine verification,” she added.

Officials also announced that Canada would be implementing a new rule that requires every person entering the country to obtain a pre-boarding negative COVID-19 test before arrival.

 
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