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A southern Manitoba resident who skipped town during a mandatory quarantine period after returning to Canada from abroad faces a stiff penalty.

A resident of Plum Coulee has been charged $1,750 under the federal Quarantine Act.

Altona Police Chief Perry Batchelor said officers went to the resident’s home for a routine checkup, as directed by the RCMP and Canadian Border Services Agency.

"Our officers attended the address during the quarantine period and there was no answer at the door," said Batchelor.

"We did conduct a very small investigation and found out that the person who was supposed to be in quarantine had actually left the province."

Batchelor said the traveller’s family member revealed that information.

When officers followed up on Jan. 5, the Plum Coulee resident had returned and was issued the fine for failing to comply with the conditions of an order governing re-entry into Canada under the Quarantine Act, Batchelor said.

Generally, Batchelor said there has been "about 98 per cent compliance" with isolation rules in the jurisdiction in which Altona police operate.

"The majority of people do what they’re asked to do and that is commendable," Batchelor said. "If you decide you want to travel, you know what the restrictions will be on you when you come back… it’s important to pay attention to that."

A representative for the province said two federal tickets have been issued in Manitoba in the last two weeks. No further details were provided.

Since the pandemic began in March, the Public Health Agency of Canada has issued 127 contravention tickets and eight summary convictions under the Quarantine Act.

In Manitoba, 125 tickets have been issued to alleged rule-breakers in the past two weeks. The majority of those tickets, 99, went to individuals and were issued by RCMP and other police agencies.

The Winnipeg Police Service said Wednesday its officers issued 20 tickets related to gatherings and two for failing to wear a mask, during the period of Jan. 4 and 17.

A dozen of the 20 tickets related to gatherings were issued at protests and rallies, police said. Officers also issued a 34 warnings to people who gathered in private residences in contravention of public health orders.


Julia-Simone Rutgers

Julia-Simone Rutgers

Julia-Simone Rutgers is a general-assignment reporter.

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