THUNDER BAY – The federal government has started steps to open the border with the United States. However, in a statement issued today, the Government says it “Recognizes however that the temporary border measures put in place to fight the spread of COVID-19, while necessary, have created challenges for some families”.
The Canada Border Services Agency is announcing that as of June 8, 2020, 23:59 EDT, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and who do not have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or who do not have reason to believe they have COVID-19, will be exempt from the prohibition on entry to Canada if entering to be with an immediate family member for a period of at least 15 days.
The Government has therefore been looking at ways to keep families together and support unity while respecting the need for continued vigilance and border measures at this time.
Foreign nationals who are admitted into Canada pursuant to this exemption must quarantine for 14 days.
An immediate family member refers to a person’s:
a) spouse or common-law partner;
b) dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or a dependent child of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
c) dependent child, as defined in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b):
d) parent or step-parent or the parent or step-parent of the person’s spouse or common-law partner;
e) guardian or tutor.
All foreign nationals who have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 continue to remain prohibited from entering Canada.
This change does not apply to immediate family members of temporary residents in Canada, such as those on a student or work visa.
- All persons entering Canada – no matter their country of origin or mode of entry – must isolate themselves for 14 days if they have symptoms of or confirmed COVID-19 or quarantine themselves for 14 days if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Asymptomatic foreign national immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who intend to stay in Canada for 14 days or less may still enter Canada as long as their entry is not for a purpose that is discretionary and, if seeking entry from the United States, are able to comply with the requirement to quarantine based on their purpose of travel and intended length of stay.
- The temporary restriction on all discretionary/optional travel at the Canada-U.S. border put in place on March 21 at 12:01 a.m. EDT continues. This restriction is in place until at least June 21, 2020.
- Canadian citizens, permanent residents and Registered Indians under the Indian Act can continue to enter Canada by right and are subject to COVID-19 entry screening measures.
- The immediate family member will need to confirm that they have a suitable place to quarantine for 14 days where they will have access to basic necessities (such as food and medication) and not have contact with vulnerable people, such as adults aged 65 years or over and people with pre-existing medical conditions unless the vulnerable person is a consenting adult or is the parent or minor in a parent-minor relationship. Travellers will be expected to make plans for where they will quarantine in advance of arriving in Canada.
- Travellers should consult the respective provincial/territorial websites to ensure that they are aware of the provincial/territorial entry, quarantine and public health requirements and can abide by those requirements.
- As of March 31, 2020, anyone arriving in Canada in any mode (air, land or marine) must provide their contact information to a border services officer when seeking entry. This information is collected on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada to support their compliance and enforcement of the 14-day quarantine or isolation requirement outlined in Order in Council 2020-0260. Travellers are encouraged to download the mobile ArriveCAN App prior to arrival to reduce wait times and limit contact at the border. The App is available on the Apple App and Google Play stores.