Last Updated on August 14, 2020
The Canada-U.S. border is to remain closed for another month to September 21, it has been announced.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair made the announcement via Twitter on Friday.
It means the border will have been closed for at least six months, after initially closing on March 21, 2020, with coronavirus cases still increasing in many U.S. states.
“We are extending the reciprocal restrictions at the Canada-US border for another 30 days, till Sept. 21, 2020,” Blair’s tweet said.
“We will continue to do what’s necessary to keep our communities safe.”
We are extending the reciprocal restrictions at the Canada-US border for another 30 days, till Sept. 21, 2020. We will continue to do what’s necessary to keep our communities safe.
— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) August 14, 2020
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The border is close for non-essential travel. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has offered guidance on what constitutes essential and non-essential travel.
Reasons considered ‘non-essential’ include:
- To visit family for a vacation.
- For the birth of a grandchild, nephew, niece, cousin, etc. (For the parent of a child, this may be considered non-discretionary travel; however, it will still require assessment.)
- To spend time at a secondary residence (vacation home, hunting or fishing lodge, etc.). This includes entry for upkeep or maintenance purposes.
- To attend the funeral of a family member (This purpose of travel would be improbable due to quarantine measures and limits to the number of attendees at funerals under provincial restrictions.)
Reasons considered ‘essential’ include travel for:
- Economic services and supply chains.
- Critical infrastructure support.
- Health (immediate medical care), safety and security.
- Supporting Indigenous communities.
- Transiting through Canada for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes.
- Studying in Canada if already approved for a study permit on or before March 18.
- Tending to family matters for non-optional or non-discretionary purposes (such as bringing supplies to elderly parents or tending to sick family members) when there is no one else available in Canada to assist.
- Any other activities that are deemed non-optional or non-discretionary by the Government of Canada or based on an officer’s assessment.
14-Day Self-Quarantine Plan
Regardless of reason for travel or exemption, any traveller with COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to enter Canada.
Furthermore, anyone entering Canada from the US or any other country will be required to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days upon entry.
Travellers are also required to present a quarantine plan, with details of where they will stay, how they will get groceries and medication and whether they will be staying with vulnerable people.