Can You Get a Ticket at Home?

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The police can’t usually enter your home without your consent. They need a warrant because you have a right to privacy. Does this mean that “COVID tickets” can only be given outside people’s homes? Not necessarily.  

When can the police give you a ticket?

The police can give you a ticket if they have reason to believe you committed an offence.

Under the Public Health Act, for example, it’s an offence to disobey an order of the Minister of Health and Social Services or a public health director. Fines for violating an order range from $1000 to $6000. Orders include those issued during a health emergency, such as the order to wear a mask in public places (in effect since July).  

The police in your living room

The police can obtain a “warrant to enter.” This allows them to enter your home to give you a ticket if you are violating a public health measure. Only a judge can issue such a warrant.  

For the warrant to be issued, the police must convince the judge that there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence under the Public Health Act has been or will be committed. For example, credible complaints from neighbours could lead a judge to conclude that reasonable grounds exist.

The police can arrest a person in your home if you let the police enter when they knock at your door. If you don’t let the police enter, and they have reason to believe an illegal gathering is occurring, they can ask a judge for a warrant.