The border between the U.S. and Canada has been closed since March 21st. That will remain in effect through at least October 21st. However in an unexpected move, some of the rules for entry into Canada will change, effective October 20th.
The country will be offering opportunities for greater family reunification (including long term relationships), granting entry for compassionate reasons and allowing certain international students to return to study. They’re able to do this due to the launch of more robust protection and screening measures, as well as the implementation of new processes.
As per a news release from the Canadian government, travel restrictions will be loosened for:
- certain extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents, including those in an exclusive dating relationship of at least 1 year and their dependent children, as well as adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents
- foreign nationals for compassionate reasons in specific circumstances, such as life-threatening illness, critical injury or death, with potential limited release from quarantine
- international students, starting October 20, 2020, if they will be attending a designated learning institution that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID‑19 readiness plan in place
Those arriving into Canada will be still be required to quarantine for 14 days (unless they’re issued short exemptions for extenuating circumstances, i.e. visiting a loved one who is critically ill). Travelers flying into Canada will have to pass an airline-issued health check before being allowed to board their plane. Upon arrival in Canada, a traveler’s health and quarantine plans will be assessed before they leave the port of entry. Of course, any traveler who shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as determined by a border services officer, won’t be allowed to enter the country.
It was specifically noted that “Travelers should not make any travel plans until they have met all requirements and obtained all necessary authorizations to qualify to come to Canada under the new rules.” (boldface: theirs) (read: don’t just show up at the border to visit your grandmother and expect to be let in).
Information about the processes for securing approval to enter the country will be on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website effective October 8th. Information about eligibility and steps to obtain entry into Canada for compassionate reasons will also be posted on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website on October 8th.
Feature Photo: vtgard/Flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary