Our government will continue to take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians, including putting in place social distancing, isolation, and travel restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Today’s announcement will ensure both a robust response to addressing the spread of the virus and that our farmers, fishers and other producers have the workers they need when they need them to strengthen Canada’s food security and provide other vital services.” — The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.
On March 18th, 2020 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump have announced a mutual agreement to restrict non-essential travel in the Northern borders between the United States and Canada. Amidst the coronavirus, both countries have decided to close the borders as a way to contain COVID-19. The breakdown of non-essential travel includes recreational and tourism purposes. Both countries are hoping for the borders to be closed for at least 30 days but according to Justin Trudeau “these measures will last in place as long as we feel they need to last”.
The border restriction will not affect international students, those on work visas and temporary foreign workers from crossing. The restriction will also not affect the travel of supply chain truck drivers who need to transport trading goods and supplies to and from the United States. The Prime Minister of Canada insists citizens stay indoors and self-isolates during this time to prevent the communal spreading of COVID-19.
Air travel will be scheduled as usual however, there are categories of people who are exempt from such restrictions including, people who have already committed to working, studying or are making their way home to Canada. International students who have a valid study permit or had their study permit approved before March 18th, 2020 are allowed to travel to Canada. Permanent resident applicants who have been approved for permanent residency before the travel restrictions took place on March 16, 2020, are also allowed to come to Canada.
Other exemptions include,
- Seasonal agricultural workers
- Fish/seafood workers
- Close family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
- A person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act (Indigenous people)
Communal communication is said to be the main cause of the spreading and contracting of the virus. In addition, fights from the United States to Canada will remain as scheduled and travelers will be screened for the coronavirus. Those who exhibit any symptoms will not be allowed to enter Canada.
These changes are made to protect Canadians and support the economy during the COVID-19 virus pandemic.