As a part of measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Canada-U.S. border will remain closed till June 21st 2020, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau announced. The earlier agreement in March was due to expire on May 21st but has been extended a further 2 months. When asked when international travel might resume, Trudeau responded by saying the decision was being made on a week-by-week basis due to the rapidly evolving situation caused by the pandemic. All these restrictions caused immigration figures to Canada fall by 26 percent in March.
What does this mean?
This means that the border is closed to ‘non-essential’ traffic.
Some of the reasons that are considered non-essential, and hence not allowed, are:
- Family vacation.
- For the birth of a grandchild, nephew, niece, cousin, etc. (For the parent of a child, this may be considered non-discretionary travel; however, it will still require assessment.)
- To spend time at a secondary residence (vacation home, hunting or fishing lodge, etc.). This includes entry for upkeep or maintenance purposes.
- To attend the funeral of a family member
Some of the reasons that are considered essential, and are permitted, are:
- Economic services and supply chains.
- Critical infrastructure support.
- Health (immediate medical care), safety, and security.
- Supporting Indigenous communities.
- Transiting through Canada for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes.
- Studying in Canada if already approved for a study permit on or before March 18.
- Tending to family matters for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes (such as bringing supplies to elderly parents or tending to sick family members) when there is no one else available in Canada to assist.
- Any other activities that are deemed non-optional or non-discretionary by the Government of Canada or based on an officer’s assessment.
Self-Quarantine for 2 weeks on arrival
Whatever may be the reason for travel or exemption, if a traveler exhibits COVID-19 symptoms he or she will not be allowed to enter Canada.
Even otherwise, all travelers entering Canada from the US or any other country will be required to mandatorily self-quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entry. They will have to show a plan of where they will stay, how they will get groceries and medication, and who they will be staying with upon arrival.