Canada extends Coronavirus travel ban on most countries (including Mexico)

Canada announced on June 30, 2020, that it will be extending its ban on foreign travelers until at least July 31, 2020. The ban applies to all foreign nationals other than those from the United States who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents or those traveling for essential reasons.

According to the Canada Border Services Agency, entry will only be allowed to those who can prove to the CBSA that they:

  • are listed as being exempted from travel restrictions (including immediate family members who are defined as a spouse or common-law partner, dependent child, dependent child of a dependent child, parent or step-parent, guardian or tutor)
  • are traveling for a non-discretionary (essential) purpose
  • are not presenting signs or symptoms of COVID-19
  • have a plan to quarantine for 14 days, unless exempted
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Getty Images

The Government of Canada states that “Certain persons are exempt from the mandatory quarantine requirement of the Order when entering Canada for the purposes of performing an essential job or function as identified in the Order.” Essential workers include people such as health care workers, air crew and international students.

The announcement comes just as the government’s unprecedented initial order on March 16, 2020 banning foreign travelers was set to expire. Note that this extension occurred despite the recent ruling from the European Union Council that Canada is a “safe country” whose citizens may be allowed to enter some countries in the E.U.

CANADA-US-VIRUS-HEALTH-BORDER
US Customs officers speaks with people in a car beside a sign saying that the US border is closed at … [+] AFP via Getty Images

For foreign nationals entering Canada from the United States, travelers must prove that they:

  • are traveling for an essential purpose or are only transiting or are an immediate family member of a Canadian
  • do not have any coronavirus symptoms
  • and have a plan to quarantine for 14 days, unless exempted

These requirements for Americans were recently extended until at least July 21, 2020, and may be extended further. You can read more here.

CANADA-VANCOUVER-COVID-19-AIRPORT-NEW MEASURES Travel ban for foreign travelers in Canada
Travel ban for foreign travelers extended in Canada Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Furthermore, the government extended its ruling that all travelers (whether Canadian citizens or not) who enter the country will still be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Those showing signs of Covid-19 won’t be allowed to enter Canada at all.

In a press release, the government said that “The Government of Canada’s top priority is the health and safety of Canadians. To limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the country, Canada has taken unprecedented action, including restrictions on non-essential travel…Anyone entering Canada—whether by air, land or sea—will continue to be required to isolate for 14 days if they have COVID-19, or have reasonable grounds to suspect that they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or quarantine for 14 days if they do not have signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The Order…includes a new requirement for individuals who are otherwise exempt from quarantine to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when in public settings if physical distancing cannot be maintained.”

Airport Departure Sign Canada
Canada travel ban extended Getty

To fulfill the mandatory quarantine requirements, travelers must have a detailed plan to quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Canada, including:

  • a place to stay
  • information regarding how you’ll get to your destination
  • get your groceries
  • and access essential services and medical care

The Canadian government states that “If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to enter the country. A border services officer will determine if you can enter the country.”

The penalties for not abiding by the quarantine restrictions, include:

  • a fine of up to $750,000
  • 6 months of jail time
  • being found inadmissible, removed from Canada and banned from entering for 1 year

Only people who provide essential services, for example, truck drivers who maintain the flow of goods or health care workers, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.

Source: FORBES

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