Two Americans have been fined for breaking Canada’s COVID-19 quarantine rules after being spotted multiple times in an Ontario town, police say.
Ontario Provincial Police officers in the Rainy River District, which runs along the Canada-U.S. border west of Thunder Bay, Ont., say the 66-year-old man and 65-year-old woman entered Canada on June 24.
Police report that the visitors were told to drive straight to their Canadian destination and stay there for 14 days.
“Both individuals failed to comply with the … Quarantine Act and were observed making stops in the Town of Fort Frances,” police said Saturday in a news release.
As a result of the charge, the man and woman, who police say live in Excelsior, Minn., have each been fined $1,000.
Everyone entering Canada for non-essential reasons since March has been ordered to quarantine for two weeks. This rule is currently scheduled to remain in place until the end of August. Visitors also have to wear non-medical face masks while en route to their quarantine locations, unless they are in private vehicles.
There is an exemption that allows Americans to travel through Canada to reach Alaska. There has been concern that some tourists may be using this as a loophole to get into the country and stay here, and several charges related to Quarantine Act violations have recently been laid against Americans found in Banff, Alta. B.C. Premier John Horgan recently implored American tourists to go straight to Alaska and straight back, without stopping to see the sights of Canada.
The Quarantine Act carries maximum penalties of six-month jail terms and fines of up to $750,000, or more if a failure to quarantine leads to death or serious bodily harm.
For anyone arriving from outside the U.S., the border is also closed outright to most non-citizens until July 31, although there are exceptions for permanent residents, immediate family members of Canadian citizens, diplomats and air crews.