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Here is what could happen if you break Canada's COVID-19 travel quarantine or testing rules

What will happen if you break one of the rules?
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Travellers coming into Canada via land must provide a negative result for a COVID-19 molecular test taken in the United States on arrival.

While some people are exempt from quarantining upon arrival to Canada, most people will have to follow the order.

Effective Feb. 21, travellers coming into Canada via land must also provide a negative result for a COVID-19 molecular test taken in the United States on arrival. The test needs to be taken within a 72-hour timeframe of arrival to Canada. 

Travellers must also use ArriveCAN to enter their information regarding plans to quarantine.

But what will happen if you break one of the quarantine rules?

While there are several rules to follow, breaking any of them is considered a punishable offence under the Contraventions Act. 

Contraventions Act

Last April, regulatory amendments under the Contraventions Act came into force. The changes provide increase flexibility for law enforcement agencies, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, local and provincial police forces, to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with orders under the Federal Quarantine Act.

This means that when it comes to testing requirements, travellers are legally obligated to follow the instructions of a Screening Officer or Quarantine Officer through the 14-day period, whether in regards to testing, transit to locations, their mandatory hotel stopover or during quarantine at home or other suitable location.

If travellers do not follow the instructions, there are penalties including a maximum fine of up to $750,000 or imprisonment for six months. 

Under this ticketing regime, when a ticket is issued, an individual can pay the ticket voluntarily, avoiding a trial and a criminal record. This will help save valuable court and enforcement agency resources, which is particularly important during this ongoing pandemic.

However, these amendments do not prevent law enforcement from pursuing a matter through the summary conviction procedure set out in the Criminal Code, should they deem that more serious action is warranted.

These enforcement measures are in addition to provincial and municipal orders that have already been enacted in some jurisdictions, which allow for ticketing.