Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday announced additional quarantine measures for those coming into Canada from abroad amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Trudeau said that beginning at midnight, if asymptomatic travellers cannot explain a “credible quarantine plan,” they will be required to quarantine in a set location, such as a hotel.
Trudeau said this is a “strengthening” of the Quarantine Act orders.
He said “inadequate quarantine plans” would include scenarios such as planning to stay with elderly family members or failing to have a set destination.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said this applies to anyone entering the country whether by land, air or sea.
She said that with the updated order, travellers arriving in Canada, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, are forbidden to isolate in a place where they would be in contact with anyone considered “vulnerable.” This includes adults 65 years of age or older or people with pre-existing medical conditions.
Freeland said travellers will need to confirm they have a “suitable place to isolate” where they have basic necessities such as food and medicine.
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She said this means those arriving in Canada will need to make plans in advance.
“These mandatory new measures are an additional layer in Canada’s actions to protect the health of all Canadians,” Freeland said.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Howard Njoo said the federal government will be paying the accommodation costs for those quarantined at the designated locations.
Trudeau on Tuesday also announced his government will be allocating $20 million for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to “strengthen inspections and keep our food supply safe.”
“This will mean we can build capacity for more overtime and extra shifts for, in fact, inspectors to fill demand,” he said. “It also means we can invest in things like hiring and training to get more people on board.”
The latest numbers released by the Public Health Agency of Canada on Tuesday morning said 26,163 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed across the country.