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The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until July 21 following a further extension announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday.
The widely-expected 30-day extension was announced by Trudeau in his daily coronavirus press briefing.
“I can now confirm that Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend current border measures by 30 days until July 21,” Trudeau said.
“This is a measure that will protect people on both sides of the border as we continue to fight COVID-19.”
The move represents a third month-long extension to the border closure, initially announced in March.
Rules allow for the continuation of essential travel, including trucks that are essential to the maintenance of supply chains.
Canada recently announced an exemption to the border closure to allow immediate family members of citizens and permanent residents to enter.
The U.S. is the world’s hardest-hit country, with more than two million cases of the virus. U.S. federal and state officials have often been at odds on the best way to respond to COVID-19, resulting in a patchwork of measures across the country.
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Currently, each of Canada’s provinces is doing all it can to safely re-open following virus-related lockdowns, looking to kickstart their economies after an incredibly difficult period.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada 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 the 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.