It looks like Canadians hoping to cross the border to stock up on holiday gifts will be disappointed. The Canadian and US governments have announced that the land borders between the two countries will remain closed to all non-essential travel until at least December 21. The ban, which was introduced in mid-March to help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. , was originally scheduled to expire on November 21, 2020. The ban excludes healthcare workers, truckers transporting goods, temporary foreign workers and some foreign students.
From Canada Public Safety Minister Bill Blair tweeted “We are extending non-essential travel restrictions with the United States until December 21, 2020. Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.”
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf commented via Twitter. “In order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID, the United States, Mexico and Canada will extend restrictions on non-essential travel until December 21. We are working closely with Mexico and Canada to keep essential commerce and travel open while protecting our citizens from the virus. ”
A poll by Ipsos-Reid showed that 85% of Canadians believe the ban at the border between the United States and Canada should remain in place at least until the end of 2020. In addition, 92% of Canadians continue to support the 14-day quarantine that is mandatory for anyone entering Canada.
In June, the Canadian government eased restrictions on the Canada-U.S. Border to allow border crossings to visit family. The updated rules allow immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to enter the country. The border ban exemption is narrowly limited and only applies to “foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or who show signs or symptoms of COVID-19. ” For more information on who is allowed to cross the Canada-U.S. Land border, visit the Government of Canada website.
In addition, recently, in October, the Canadian government further relaxed the ban on border travel, allowing people who have had serious and exclusive relationships for at least a year to be considered “extended family members.” And to be allowed to cross the border. However, visitors who fall under the exemption must still be quarantined for 14 days. The government website states that: “To be considered an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident depends on who and how you are related. If your relationship is with a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, you must be in an exclusive romantic relationship, have been in the relationship for at least 1 year, and have spent time in the physical presence of that person at some point during the relationship.
Please note that all travelers entering Canada (except essential workers) must always be quarantined for 14 days. The Government of Canada website states that “When you arrive in Canada by air, land or sea… you must have a quarantine plan for 14 days upon arrival in Canada, including
- a place to stay
- how you
- to reach the destination
- do your shopping
- access essential services and medical care
There are very strict penalties for those who do not obey the quarantine requirements. Sanctions include:
- a maximum fine of $ 750,000
- 6 months in prison
- be declared inadmissible, expelled from Canada and barred from entry for one year.