The province is giving law enforcement agencies full authority to enforce the public health rules around COVID-19.
Through amendments to the Procedures Regulation under the Provincial Offences Procedures Act, community peace officers, in addition to police, will be able to issue tickets to enforce COVID-19 public health orders.
Fines now administered through tickets for violating an order have increased from up to $100 per day to a prescribed fine of $1,000 per occurrence. Courts will also have increased powers to administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations. These new fines will be in force over the coming days.
“We must do everything we can to protect Albertans through this pandemic,” says Premier Jason Kenney. “While the vast majority of Albertans are doing their part to flatten the curve by self-isolating, practicing physical distancing or helping those who are self-isolating, some are not. Self-isolation orders are not suggestions or guidelines – they are now the law and they must be followed. Anyone putting their families, their neighbours, or other Albertans at risk will face consequences.”
In an e-mail, the government gave a list of public health orders where violations could be subject to a fine:
- Any individual who has traveled outside of Canada must go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from their return, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of any symptoms should they occur, whichever is longer.
- Any individual who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days from the start of their symptoms, or until the symptoms resolve, whichever is longer. Symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or a sore throat.
- Any individual who has been identified by as a close contact of a person(s) with COVID-19 must go into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days from the date of last having been exposed to COVID-19, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of any symptoms should they occur, whichever is longer.
- Mass gatherings must be limited to no more than 50 attendees.
- Access to public recreational facilities, private entertainment facilities, bars and nightclubs is prohibited.
- Visitation to long-term care and other continuing care facilities is limited to essential visitors only.
– Kenny Trenton, Trending 55 Newsroom
– With files from the Government of Alberta