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25 Mar 2020 | 04:06 PM UTC

Canada: Government announces mandatory self-quarantine for all incoming travelers from March 26 /update 10

Canada to implement mandatory self-quarantine measure for all incoming travelers from March 26; follow government directives

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CAN

Event

On Wednesday, March 25, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that Canada would be enacting the Quarantine Act to prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Effective 00:00 (local time) on Thursday, March 26, all travelers entering Canada from abroad will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. Those found in violation of the directive may be fined. The measure will not apply to truck drivers and health care workers crossing the border.

To date, there have been more than 3190 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 27 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term. 

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.