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Province to enforce self-isolation for travellers

The Alberta government on Thursday made it mandatory for travellers returning from outside of Canada to self-isolate.

Community peace officers, in addition to police, can now issue tickets to enforce COVID-19 public health orders.

“We must do everything we can to protect Albertans through this pandemic,” Premier Jason Kenney said during a news conference. “While the vast majority of Albertans are doing their part to flatten the curve by self-isolating, practising physical distancing or helping those who are self-isolating, some are not.”

“Self-isolation orders are not suggestions or guidelines — they are now the law and they must be followed. Anyone putting their families, their neighbours, or other Albertans at risk will face consequences.”

The legal requirement to self-isolate also applies to close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases and people with symptoms, such as a fever, cough, sore throat or runny nose.

Fines now administered through tickets for violating an order have increased to a prescribed fine of $1,000 per occurrence, from up to $100 per day.

Courts will also have increased powers to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.

“The chief medical officer of health has the full co-operation of community peace officers and local policing to ensure Albertans comply with orders,” Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer said.

Public health orders subject to fines for violation include:

  • Any individual who has travelled outside of Canada must go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from their return, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of any symptoms should they occur, whichever is longer.
  • Any individual who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of their symptoms, or until the symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.
  • Any individual who has been identified by as a close contact of a person with COVID-19 must go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from the date of last having been exposed to COVID-19, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of any symptoms should they occur, whichever is longer.
  • Mass gatherings must be limited to no more than 50 people.
  • Access to public recreational facilities, private entertainment facilities, bars and nightclubs is prohibited.
  • Visitation to long-term care and other continuing care facilities is limited to essential visitors only.
  • The Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services are working with local enforcement agencies to manage complaints, which can be submitted on-line.
  • Exemptions will continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis by public health officials.

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