On Wednesday, March 25, Canada’s Health Minister, Patty Hajdu, announced that the government is no longer just asking those who return to Canada to self-isolate. She is invoking the Quarantine Act and forcing them to.
“Earlier this month, we asked all travellers to self-isolate when they returned to Canada,” Hajdu said in a Tweet. “Today, we are making this isolation mandatory under the Quarantine Act to better protect our most vulnerable.”
This means it will be a legal obligation to self-isolate for 14 days for anyone returning to Canada, starting at midnight tonight. Travellers will not be allowed to use public transit to go where they are isolating, either.
Eight new cases in New Brunswick
New Brunswick Public Health has announced the discovery of eight new cases in the province. All cases are either travel-related or someone who is a close contact of a travel-related case. The total number of cases in NB is now 26.
Three cases are in Zone 1, southeastern NB; three cases are in Zone 2, south NB; one case in both Zone 3 and Zone 4, central and northwest NB, respectively.
More travelling restrictions
All interprovincial travellers will need to self-isolate for 14 days. Any unnecessary travel into New Brunswick is prohibited and peace officers are willing to turn visitors away if they attempt to do so.
“We must do all we can to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in New Brunswick,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We are implementing screening at interprovincial borders. Regardless of where you are, we urge you to avoid any non-essential travel.”
Commercial and essential travellers and employees will be exempt from these restrictions.
Help line for those in self-isolation
The Canadian Red Cross and the provincial government have set up a help line to support New Brunswickers affected by self-isolation.
“The Canadian Red Cross can assist people in accessing a wide range of supports and services,” The Government of New Brunswick says. “People who have issues or concerns should call 1-800-863-6582.”