Canadian travel restrictions extended until Halloween

Shelby Thevenot, Kareem El-Assal
Published: September 29, 2020

Canada is once again extending travel restrictions to foreign travellers as cases of coronavirus continue to rise.

A new Canadian government Order in Council states that coronavirus travel restrictions will be extended until Halloween, on October 31.

This means Canada will have two important decisions to make at the end of October. The first is whether to extend its travel restrictions yet again. The second is how many immigrants it should target under its Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023.

Canada initially closed its borders from March 18 to June 30. Since then travel restrictions have been rolled over on a month-by-month basis.

The border is closed to foreign travellers who are coming to Canada for a non-essential reason such as recreation, tourism, or entertainment.

Some people are exempt from travel restrictions, such as:

  • Canadian citizens (including dual citizens) or permanent residents;
  • certain people who have been approved for Canadian permanent residence;
  • certain temporary foreign workers;
  • certain international students;
  • protected persons;
  • immediate family members of Canadians; or
  • anyone else who falls under the exemptions listed on the government's webpage.

Everyone who crosses the Canadian border must still quarantine for 14 days. The only exemptions to the mandatory quarantine requirement are:

  • crew members;
  • people invited by the health minister to help with the COVID-19 response, and other healthcare workers;
  • members of visiting forces who are coming to work;
  • people coming to receive medical services within 36 hours of their arrival;
  • crossing the border in a trans-border community;
  • people crossing into Canada aboard a "vessel" for the purposes of research, as long as they stay on the vessel; and
  • other circumstances listed in the Order in Council.

Canada has a separate order in place that has also limited cross border travel between it and the U.S. since March. This order was also extended again earlier this month.

The decisions to extend Canada's travel restrictions come as no surprise in light of the rising COVID-19 cases in Canada and abroad.

Canada was able to successfully flatten the coronavirus curve from late May until August.

However, COVID-19 cases have been steadily increasing since late August.

Canada's largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, have announced stricter measures in recent days to try and reduce the significantly higher levels of COVID-19 cases they have experienced over the past month.

Canada is still issuing new permanent residence invitations throughout the pandemic.

These invitations are being issued to individuals currently in Canada as well as those abroad, although the number of individuals completing their permanent residence landing in Canada is much lower than usual due to the pandemic.

In addition, the travel restrictions stipulate that only those who received their permanent residence approval prior to March 18 are currently eligible to travel to Canada.

As such, Canada's ongoing Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) draws are meant in part to facilitate the arrival of immigrants in support of Canada's economy after the pandemic.

In a speech last week, the Canadian government stated it plans to continue to welcome global talent to drive the country's economic growth.

Two major events in October will provide more clarity on the Canadian government's immigration plans following the pandemic.

One of these major events is Canada's Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023 announcement, which should take place by Friday October 30th. This announcement will shed light on how many newcomers Canada aims to welcome over the coming three years.

Canada's immigration minister Marco Mendicino has made a series of remarks throughout the pandemic suggesting that immigration will be vital to Canada's economic recovery.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

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