As of midnight Tuesday (April 14), Canadians returning to the country must have a “credible” quarantine plan or face 14 days in a hotel.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Tuesday morning, nearly one week after B.C. brought in similar rules amid frustration with a lack of quarantine enforcement from Ottawa.
The changes are a “strengthening of the Quarantine Act,” Trudeau said. Returning travellers were already mandated to quarantine as of March 25, but there were no plans in place to house those without proper plans.
“If their plan is to go stay in a place where they are many elderly family members…. don’t have a set destination if they’ve been out of the country for many years,” that would constitute a non-credible plan, Trudeau said.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland elaborated on the plans at a press conference later on Tuesday, saying travellers need to have a plan to get supplies, such as food and medication, without breaking quarantine rules.
Trudeau said more personal protective equipment was headed to the provinces, including 1.1 million N95 masks.
On reopening the economy, Trudeau said “it is going to be weeks, still” and that Canada is not yet through the first wave of COVID-19 infections.
There have been 26,163 confirmed cases and 823 deaths due to the virus as of Tuesday morning.