Canada Extends International Travel Restrictions Into February

Canada is extending international travel restrictions as part of its continuous effort in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The Country is extending restrictions on non-US international travel until February 21, 2021.

The month-long international travel restrictions extension was announced by Public Safety Minister Bill Blair today.

“Our Government will never stop to take the strong and decisive action needed to keep the Canadian people safe from COVID-19 virus while maintaining essential trade with our international partners,” wrote Minister Bill Blair in a tweet.

Minister Bill Blair had also announced recently that the restrictions imposed on U.S. travelers will be valid until at least Feb. 21. The Canada-U.S. border has been shut down since March to non-essential travels and this joint decision by Ottawa and Washington has been extended several times.

To protect Canadians from coronavirus, the federal government of Canada has also had international travel restrictions measures in place since March to control and limit travel to Canada. The restrictions disallow most non-essential or discretionary travel to the country.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents may, however, come back to Canada and welcome immediate family members among a number of other exemptions.

Since January 7, 2021, Canada wants every international air traveler aged five years or above to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test done within Seventy-two (72) hours of the traveler’s planned departure for Canada. This negative Polymerase Chain Reaction test is required before an individual is allowed to board any flight coming to Canada.

Transport Canada announce the pre-departure testing requirements on Dec. 31. The pre-departure test requirements don’t exempt travelers from having to complete a fourteen (14) day quarantine period. A reliable quarantine plan must be prepared before arrival in Canada to specify the location and how it will be carried out.

Travelers to Canada were also instructed to use the ArriveCAN app to send their information to CBSA officers and learn how to comply with COVID-19 measures at the border. The application is to be used by all incoming travelers to carry out daily self-assessments and share contact tracing information so it can be shared with the provinces to ensure that the quarantine process is completed.

Quarantine rules are enforced in Canada and those who break or disobey it may be subject to fines and imprisonment.

In recent weeks, the Canada Border Services Agency and government officials have recommended that restrictions and controls on travelers could be tightened.

Quebec Premier François Legault also advised the Canadian government on Tuesday to ban non-essential international flights during a media briefing on the coronavirus.

Recent outbreaks of new variants of the coronavirus and the resurgence of cases in certain countries around the world contribute to these fears.

Additional control rules could mean further screening measures to border control procedures introduced.

The number of COVID-19 cases keeps rising in many parts of Canada, with a total of over 723,920 new cases reported on January 20.

Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia are seeing glimmers of hope in efforts to contain the spread of the infection, although provincial governments of these provinces believe it is still too early to consider easing existing restrictions.

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