Q - Do providers have the right to restrict self-isolating tenants from being in the building (outside of their units) or from receiving visitors? [POSTED: 4/1/20]
- Providers do not have the right to enforce restrictions on the movements of tenants in the building. If a provider becomes aware that a tenant is under Canada’s new mandatory self-isolation period for travelers and may not respecting the guidelines
, they should contact their local public health authority for guidance. The new directive, under the Quarantine Act
, requires any person entering Canada by air, sea or land to self-isolate (quarantine) for 14 days whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. The directive, which excludes certain essential workers, came into effect at midnight on March 26, 2020 and only applies to travelers arriving from outside Canada after that date. The Government of Canada is responsible for ensuring compliance and landlords do not have the legal right to enforce the order themselves.
For tenants who are self-isolating by choice and not by law, providers can encourage tenants in adopting best practices for self-isolation, but cannot force them to self-isolate. Consider whether tenants who are self-isolating may be vulnerable to other factors affecting health and well-being, such as food insecurity, social isolation and/or additional service needs. The better supported tenants are in their homes, the more likely they are to stay there.
As a community housing provider, you can reach out over the phone to any potentially vulnerable tenants and ask them about any challenges they might be experiencing, what supports they have in place, including any services that might have been interrupted at this time. You can connect tenants to any local health and social service providers (e.g. food security programs, Ontario Health Teams, mental health and addictions support workers). Some providers have also been successful in mobilizing their tenant community by encouraging the building residents to check in remotely with neighbours and offer help where possible.
The following resource from Windor Essex Community Housing Corporation offers Guidelines for Food Distribution for providers wishing to initiate a food security program in their building.