Canada Looking To Ease Travel Restrictions For Families
Canada’s Prime minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada is exploring easing travel restrictions that prevent some people from crossing the United States border to enter Canada to reunite with their family.
Trudeau made the remarks during his daily COVID-19 briefing to the Canadian public on Friday May 29.
The Canada-U.S. border was first shut down to non-essential travel effective Saturday March 20th by mutual agreement as both nations sought to reduce the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The travel restrictions were initially put in place for thirty (30) days, but have since been extended on two several occasions, including most recently on May 20th.
Among those excluded from the travel restrictions include essential workers, and immediate family members of permanent residents and Canadian citizens, as long as said family members are coming to Canada for non-discretionary purposes.
Immediate family members have been defined as spouses, children, dependent children, grandchildren, parents, step-parents, grand-parents, guardians, and tutors.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been providing guidelines and instructions on how to define non-discretionary travel.
CBSA is disallowing entry to immediate family from entering Canada if it consider the purpose of the trip to be non-essential.
During his remarks, the Prime minister recognized the challenging nature of the restrictions placed on families and said he was hoping to seek a lasting resolution.
However, he admitted that easing travel restrictions is cause for concern among Canada’s provinces and territories, who he has been consulting with on this matter.
In fact, Trudeau noted that this problem came up as recently as the evening of Thursday May 28 when he had a meeting with provincial premiers.
According to the Trudeau, some premiers expressed openness to easing lock down rules for families on grounds of compassion, while other premiers felt that doing so could make efforts to curb the pandemic more challenging.
The Prime Minister concluded by saying that the federal and provincial governments will continue to consider this topic while keeping the safety and security of the Canadian people at the forefront of the ultimate decision that is taken.
Canada has had special visa, immigration and travel measures in place since the middle of March.