Legal challenge mounted against Canada’s federally mandated quarantine hotel policy

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TORONTO — A constitutional rights advocacy group is mounting a legal challenge to the Canadian government’s quarantine hotel policy.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation has filed an application with Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice along with five individuals, seeking an end to the policy.

A government order that went into effect on Feb. 14 mandates that anyone entering Canada from abroad must stay in a federally approved hotel for the first three nights of a 14-day quarantine.

Travellers may leave the hotels once a COVID-19 test taken at their point of entry comes back negative.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation argues in its legal application that hotel quarantine requirements are “overbroad, arbitrary and grossly disproportionate.”

It argues the hotel policy detains people without COVID-19 symptoms who would be able to safely quarantine outside of government-approved accommodation at minimal or no expense.

The Ministry of the Attorney General did not immediately provide comment on the legal action.

All five individuals who are part of the legal challenge had to travel outside Canada for compassionate purposes and stay in the quarantine hotels on their return, the CCF said.