Canada has so far avoided the United States’ coronavirus fate, and is taking drastic measures to ensure it stays that way.
The country on Tuesday announced that all travelers entering the country would be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days, even if they aren’t showing symptoms of COVID-19.
There are “few exceptions,” to the rules, the government’s public health agency said, besides those who “ensure the continued flow of goods and essential services, or individuals who receive or provide other essential services to Canadians.”
Those exempt individuals, like truck drivers, are still required to wear a mask upon entry to the country and while in transit. The rules are punishable by a fine of up to $750,000 or a month in jail, and the government will be conducting spot checks to ensure compliance, it said.
On Friday, Canada announced even stricter measures.
All air travelers will be required to “have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel” beginning Saturday at 12 noon, local time. They’ll also be required to show they have the mask during boarding, so that they can follow the previous rules once they land.
“Canadians should continue to follow public health advice and stay at home if possible,” Marc Garneau, the country’s minister of transport, said in a press release.
“However, if you need to travel, wearing a face covering is an additional measure you can take to protect others around you, especially in situations where physical distancing guidelines cannot be maintained. Transport Canada will continue to ensure various transportation systems adapt to the most effective, preventive measures to protect Canadians.”