Police in Newfoundland are proving that they’re prepared to take social distancing in Canada very seriously. A 53-year-old woman was arrested on Tuesday for violating public health emergency orders, when she refused to self-isolate after returning from a trip. She now faces a stint in jail and a fine of up to $3,500.
If you refuse to follow new social distancing rules, there’s going to be trouble ahead.
That’s what one Newfoundlander learned this week when she was arrested by local police for failing to self-isolate properly after she took a trip outside the province.
According to The Canadian Press via Global, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary detained her on Tuesday, for “violating public health emergency orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.”
The woman allegedly refused to practice self-isolation for 14 days, the latest protocolwhen returning home from a trip to another province or another country.
Police visited her after receiving several complaints about her activities, but she was not compliant and was therefore held overnight in a jail cell.
Her refusal to comply with the law could result in a fine of up to $2,500 and a jail sentence of up to six months.
She is set to appear via video link in court on Wednesday, March 25.
After a public reporting system was set up over the weekend, western Newfoundland police have had an influx of calls about locals failing to practice social distancing.
Constable James Cadigan told CTV Newsthat they’d received upwards of 400 complaints in just a few days.
“If you’re going to put our community at risk, we will follow up on those measures,” Cadigan said.
On March 18, Newfoundland declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19, allowing the police to enforce penalties on those who refuse to comply with social distancing rules.
“These measures are put in place … because we feel this is the best way to protect the health of our population and reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19,” Newfoundland’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, explained.
The province now has some of Canada’s strictest COVID-19 protocols.
Across Canada, provinces have been implementing similar penalties for failing to follow public health advice.