Canada's Minister of Health Patty Hajdu announced the activation of the Quarantine Act on Wednesday, meaning that travellers from abroad would have to go through a mandatory self-isolation of fourteen days.
“Earlier this month, we asked all travellers to self-isolate when they returned to Canada. Today, we are making this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable,” Hajdu posted to her Twitter account.
“Individuals who exhibit symptoms on arrival in Canada are forbidden also from using public transit to travel to their places of self-isolation,” Hajdu said, speaking to the Senate.
Minister Hajdu gave details about what measures would be put in place, including random screenings.
"There will be random screening and there will be spot screening based on particular situations."
Hajdu said there will be "significant penalties" for people who violate the quarantine.
According to the government of Canada, the purpose of the Quarantine Act is to "protect public health by taking comprehensive measures to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases"—a clear necessity amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has now spread to at least 2,792 Canadians
The act would ask those who go through customs to immediately present themselves to a screening officer "at the nearest entry point."
When asked if the health minister had studied successful models for coronavirus containment, such as those in South Korea, Hajdu said that they've been looking at a number of successful models to fight "the first pandemic of this size in over 100 years." Hadju noted that in the absence of a vaccine, social distancing remained the best option for Canadians for the time being.