Nova Scotia

3 people ticketed for failing to self-isolate after arriving in Nova Scotia

Three people from New Brunswick have been ticketed for breaking public health rules after they were found shopping in Amherst, N.S., rather than self-isolating.

Nova Scotia's COVID-19 order requires people entering the province to self-isolate right away

Amherst police issued three summary offence tickets on Monday for people breaking COVID-19 health orders. (amhertst.ca)

Three New Brunswick residents have been ticketed for breaking public health rules after they drove into a Nova Scotia border town to go shopping.

The Amherst Police Department issued the three summary offence tickets on Monday to two men and a woman for disobeying an order made under the Health Protection Act.

Since the order from Nova Scotia's chief medical officer, Dr. Robert Strang, two weeks ago, anyone coming into the province has had to self-isolate for 14 days.

"I'm hoping this will kind of be an eye-opener for a lot of people, to realize that it could be enforced," Const. Tom Wood of the Amherst Police Department said Tuesday.

"To be honest … we're hoping that we don't have to issue another summary offence ticket on this again."

The penalty for those tickets is a $1,000 fine.

When the tickets were issued

Officers issued the tickets between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. after public calls came in about New Brunswick licence plates being spotted at local businesses.

Police eventually stopped three separate New Brunswick drivers, discovering they had "just recently" crossed the border, Wood said.

He added they had visited two local hardware stores and a grocery store, but did not provide the exact locations.

Over the past couple of weeks, Wood said Amherst police have been warning many people that they can't drive over the border from nearby towns like Sackville, N.B., to go shopping.

That goes both ways, he said, since Nova Scotians can't hop over into New Brunswick.

"This border, the way it's been shut, has been difficult for both communities," Wood said. "But, with the order, we have to try to enforce it just for the safety of Nova Scotia residents and also for the safety of New Brunswick residents."

Strang's order states people must start self-isolating on the day they enter Nova Scotia, and they cannot enter any building, use public transportation or be in an enclosed space where people are present, other than their own home.

Few exceptions to rules

The only exceptions are for those working in an essential service, like health care or trucking.

"To cross, and then go into a business ... you're putting people at risk," Wood said. "So that's why we decided to enforce it."

He added that Amherst police have been "inundated" with calls from residents reporting out-of-province vehicles since the public health orders came down, and imagines Sackville RCMP are experiencing the same thing.

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