Justin Trudeau – Mandatory hotel quarantines could harm lower-income Canadians: Lawyer
Health conditions that would make isolating in a hotel particularly challenging are another concern.
In a letter to Canada’s transport minister and attorney general, the civil liberties association is demanding Ottawa carve out quarantine exemptions and fee waivers for Canadians who seek to look after loved ones or receive treatment overseas, particularly people in narrow financial straits.
“For these individuals, travel is not a luxury,” Zwibel says in the letter.
“The government’s definition of what constitutes ‘essential travel’ for these purposes will be important.”
Ottawa has not announced when mandatory hotel quarantines will come into effect, one of several measures aimed at choking off viral spread at the border and deterring non-essential travel.
Trudeau announced on Jan. 29 that Canadian airlines had suspended flights to Mexico and the Caribbean until April 30. Residents who do choose to fly abroad now have to furnish negative COVID-19 test results less than 72 hours before departure back to home soil.
Roughly two per cent of cases with “known exposure” have been linked to international travel, and an even smaller proportion in recent weeks, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. However, there is still virtually no testing at the border and many recent cases do not have an identified source.
Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that “every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada,” though all rights are subject to reasonable limits.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2021.
The Canadian Press