Traveller who was supposed to be quarantining in southern Manitoba fined $1,750 for leaving province

A southern Manitoba resident has been fined $1,750 after travelling abroad, returning to Canada and then travelling outside the province before their 14-day federal quarantine period was up.

The Altona Police Service issued a ticket on Jan. 5 for failing to comply with the conditions of an order governing re-entry into Canada.

In the midst of a routine checkup on a Plum Coulee resident who returned from international travel, Altona police learned from a family member the resident had left Manitoba, Chief Perry Batchelor said.

“It was determined that the person that was supposed to be quarantining was, in fact, in another province,” Batchelor said Tuesday.

“Our officers conducted a quick investigation to determine that that was in fact the case, and when this person returned from their trip to another province, they were issued a ticket under the Quarantine Act.”

A spokesperson for Manitoba Justice said this is one of two cases of federal Quarantine Act violations the province is aware of in recent weeks.

A southern Manitoba resident is alleged to have left the province when they were required to quarantine at home. (Altona Police Service)

The ticket was disclosed in an internal provincial memo that also listed a series of provincial pandemic violations during the week of Jan. 4 to Jan. 10.

That same memo noted provincial enforcement staff issued a large number of warnings to retailers at Winnipeg’s Polo Park, Garden City and Regent Avenue shopping nodes — as well as in Selkirk and Steinbach.

“Based on the evidence to date, in Winnipeg continued focus in the Garden City and Regent area would be prudent, while Steinbach and Selkirk should be high priority outside of the city,” the memo said.

The province declined to say whether enforcement teams will focus on these areas after retail restrictions are expected to ease up Saturday, as part of a proposed new public health measure.

“We’re monitoring the situation and deploying resources as needed,” a spokesperson for Manitoba Justice said Tuesday.

The same memo warned “large numbers of people are gathering” while they skate, toboggan and walk in provincial and City of Winnipeg parks, as well as at community centres, on retention ponds and on what the province calls sliding hills. 

“While people may not be intending to gather with others, a visible presence at outdoor gatherings is recommended to educate people about the rules and to promote social distancing,” the memo warns.

Provincial enforcement of illegal gatherings in private residences, the memo also noted, relies primarily on tips from the general public.

“It is recommended that public messaging continue for the public to call the [provincial] tip line to report gatherings in their neighbourhoods,” the memo says.

“It is critical that law enforcement respond to complaints of residential gatherings in a timely manner.”

The proposed new public health order would allow Manitobans to have up to two guests indoors and up to five guests outside, beginning Saturday. 

The current public health order bans socializing indoors or outdoors on private property.

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