Canada extends travel restrictions into the new year.
Canada’s border will be closed to foreign nationals who are coming for a non-discretionary, non-optional reason. Border officials will turn down any traveller coming for reasons such as tourism, recreation or entertainment.
The government is shifting the date to align with travel restrictions imposed on U.S. travellers, according to a media briefing. Current travel restrictions are put in place for U.S. travellers until Dec. 21 and are likely to be extended.
Canada is also modifying its order and creating a structure for considering applications from high-performance amateur sports organisations seeking to hold International Single Sport Events.
Applicants must include written commitments of ongoing supports from regional governments in order to be considered.
They will also need a strong plan to protect public health and the health of participants. Canada will be releasing other important information on the Department of Canadian Heritage’s web site.
Some individuals are already exempted from travel restrictions, such as:
- Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
- certain persons who have been approved for Canadian permanent residence;
- certain temporary foreign workers;
- certain foreign students;
- protected persons;
- immediate family members of Canadians;
- extended family members of Canadians;
- persons coming to Canada for compassionate reasons; or
- anyone else who falls under the exemptions itemized on the government’s webpage.
Originally, travel restrictions went into effect from March 18 to June 30 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Since then, they have been extended on a month-by-month basis.
In October, Canada eased travel restrictions on international students and extended family members of Canadians.
The government is also allowing people to come to Canada for compassionate reasons, such as:
- to provide support or care for someone who is critically sick, or to be present during the final moments of life for a loved one;
- to provide medical assistance to a person who needs it; or
- to attend a funeral.
Before coming to Canada, compassionate travellers can fill out an application to get a limited release from quarantine before the fourteen (14) days are up.
Travellers to Alberta province may also be able to get an early release from quarantine.
The only other exemptions to the mandatory fourteen (14)-day quarantine requirement are:
- people invited by the health minister to help with the coronavirus response, and other healthcare officials;
- members of visiting forces who are coming to work;
- people coming to receive medical services within thirty-six (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 itemized in the new Order in Council.
In all cases, Canadian border services officers have the final say on who is allowed entry into the country.
Canada also has a separate order in place that has limited cross border travel restrictions between it and the United States. since March. This order was recently extended earlier this month.