On March 25, 2020, Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced an Emergency Order under the Quarantine Act, which would legally require any person (with the exception of “essential workers”), who arrived in Canada (by air, sea, or land), to place themselves into self-isolation (i.e., self-quarantine) for a period of 14 days, in order to prevent further spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Public Health Agency of Canada also issued a press release relating to the Emergency Order on the same day. Further details regarding the Emergency Order appear below.
The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been the dominating news topic of 2020 so far. Canadian health officials maintain that, at this point, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low in all parts of Canada. However, it is important for employers to be prepared to respond as COVID-19 continues to develop both in Canada and globally.
Over the past several weeks, news of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV or Coronavirus) has dominated our newsfeeds, which at the time of writing has three confirmed cases in Ontario, two of which are in Toronto. The virus has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) and in order to control the outbreak, China has responded with an aggressive strategy and taken the extraordinary step of confining residents in the city of Wuhan (the epicentre of the outbreak) to their homes.