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Police charge pair who allegedly failed to quarantine then attended a rally

TORONTO — Two people have been charged for failing to comply with federal quarantine rules after the pair showed up at a rally shortly after returning to Canada, Toronto police said Tuesday.

The two accused are the first people to be charged criminally in Toronto under the federal Quarantine Act, police spokesman Const. David Hopkinson said.

“We started in the pandemic by educating the public. Now we have switched to enforcement,” Hopkinson said.

“Charges with regards to this are rare. We’ve had very, very good compliance by our community.”

Investigators said Christopher (Chris Sky) Saccoccia, 37, and Jennifer Saccoccia, 34, of King City, Ont., landed at Pearson International Airport on Sept. 20 after travelling abroad.

Police allege that despite being ordered to quarantine for 14 days, Christopher Saccoccia was seen in the Yonge-Dundas area of downtown Toronto on Sept. 26 and was issued a provincial offence ticket.

Authorities also allege both Christopher and Jennifer Saccoccia went to a rally attended by roughly 500 unmasked participants at Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday.

Both were served Monday with a notice to appear for a virtual court hearing on Nov. 12, police said.

Public health rules require everyone coming from outside the country to quarantine for at least 14 days.

Saturday’s rally saw demonstrators protest against public health measures meant to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2020.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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