Coronavirus: Okanagan snowbirds adapt to self-isolation upon return to Canada

The federal government is enforcing unprecedented measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

It has deployed the Quarantine Act, imposing mandatory self-isolation for any traveller returning to Canada.

“If you’ve just returned from abroad you have to go home and stay home for 14 days,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference on Thursday.

Thousands of people across Canada are being required to self-isolate at home.

In the Okanagan, snowbirds have now landed back home.

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“We were in Tucson, Arizona. We came back on the 19th,” said a senior couple in West Kelowna.

“We’ve been going on walks in the neighbourhood,” admitted the couple.

Another snowbird told Global News on Thursday, “I’m walking the dog, down the middle of the road, 20 feet from everybody else.”

She went on to say that she walks her dog around her neighbourhood three times a day.

She just got back from Mesa, Arizona, a week ago.

“Some people have not been taking this seriously, they’re stopping by the grocery store on their way home from the airport, they’re getting together with friends after being away for March break,” said Trudeau.

“This kind of contact is not just disappointing, its dangerous.”

The Canadian government calls for Canadians to self-isolate if they’ve travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days or if a public health authority has identified a person as someone who has had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

“If you do not comply with these instructions you can face serious fines and even prison time,” warned Trudeau.

You can find more information on the mandatory quarantine here.

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