Could Canada enforce coronavirus self-isolation? Legal experts say yes

Over the past week, Canadian officials have urged the public to practice social distancing, self-isolate and quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic — but what happens if that advice is ignored?

While officials have insisted that self-isolation is strongly advised in some circumstances, there are currently no plans to enforce it.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, dismissed the idea on Thursday, saying many Canadians are already following the rules.

“Our whole concept is to get everybody to do the right thing,” Dr. Tam said. “Based on other experiences like the SARS situation in Toronto, Canadians contribute by doing the right thing.” 

Dr. Tam noted that Canada does have legislation for cases when advice is not followed, but officials are “not aiming for that to be the key response.”

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