Why Canada is extending its travel restrictions until July 31

Shelby Thevenot, Kareem El-Assal
Published: June 30, 2020

The Canadian border will remain closed for at least another month in an effort to curb coronavirus numbers.

Canada originally implemented its travel restrictions on March 18 and they were set to expire today, on June 30.

In an email to CIC News, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed that the travel restrictions will continue.

Canada's new Order in Council states that the travel restrictions will now expire at 23:59:59 EDT on July 31.

This means that only exempt travelers will be able to enter Canada. CBSA will continue to only admit travelers to Canada for essential reasons. In addition, immediate family can enter Canada.

The decision to extend travel restrictions comes as no surprise. Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would not rush to re-open the borders. Canada and the U.S. will also continue to restrict cross-border travel until at least July 21.

This temporary order is one of Canada's measures to help contain the spread of coronavirus. Another new Order in Council extends Canada's quarantine requirement until August 31. 

It is currently the law for most individuals entering Canada to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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Canada is flattening the curve

The travel restrictions have contributed to Canada's success in flattening the coronavirus curve. In recent days, all of Canada has been able to record around 200 or fewer new daily COVID-19 cases.

This represents a significant improvement compared with the start of the pandemic when over 1,000 daily cases were being recorded across Canada.

Despite Canada's success, the country is remaining cautious on re-opening its economy and borders. Provinces across the country have lifted many lock-down restrictions, though social distancing measures are in place.

Maintaining border restrictions is not ideal, given how important immigration and travel is to Canada's economy, but Canada is staying the course so that it can eventually be in strong position to welcome foreign travelers once again.

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Canada's immigration system continues to operate

Canada's immigration system has continued to operate since the start of the pandemic.

Canada has introduced flexible measures so that immigration candidates can have more time to submit their documentation.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to hold Express Entry draws. It is issuing invitations to apply (ITA) to immigration candidates, even if they are currently outside of Canada. As long as an immigration candidate meets the eligibility criteria of Express Entry, they can still receive an ITA during the pandemic.

For example, submitting an Express Entry profile and then obtaining a provincial nomination effectively guarantees that a candidate will receive an ITA for permanent residence.

IRCC held two Express Entry draws last week.

It has already issued 49,900 ITAs in 2020, which is more than what IRCC issued in the first half of 2019.

In addition, various provinces are inviting immigration candidates, including those overseas, through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Find out if you are eligible for any Canadian immigration programs

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

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