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Trucker in P.E.I. fined $1,000 for failing to self-isolate

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A truck driver fined for not self-isolating during the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic told a judge he had no one to get him groceries.

Phillip Reimus was found guilty of violating the Public Health Act after failing to comply with an order to self-isolate upon returning to P.E.I. from international travel.

Reimus pleaded not guilty to the charge but in court he admitted to twice leaving his residence in Stratford to shop for groceries at Walmart, and to going for a walk off the property where he was to self-isolate.

Representing himself, Reimus told the court he understood he did something wrong by going shopping but said he simply needed to get food.

As for the walk, he said there was nobody around him on his stroll.

Provincial Court Chief Judge Nancy Orr made clear that reaching a decision was neither difficult or complicated.

“Well, the evidence in this case is quite clear," she said.

“(Reimus) did not self-isolate as he was required to do."

Orr fined Reimus $1,000 plus a $50 surcharge.

In late March, the province announced fines under the Public Health Act ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for anyone not following the chief public health officer's order to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving in P.E.I., whether from international travel or another province.

As of July 3, Islanders and fellow Atlantic Canadians travelling within the region do not need to self-isolate for 14 days.

However, some public health and screening measures will be maintained as part of the Atlantic travel bubble.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the accused as Philippe Ramos.

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