Ottawa today announced an extension of the COVID-19 related travel restrictions for any non-essential travel to Canada until at least July 31. The rules prevent anyone from traveling to Canada for non-essential purposes unless they are Canadian or the immediate family members of Canadians.
Initially enacted on March 18, the travel restrictions were set to expire on June 30.
The order, which was set to expire tonight, “has been extended until July 31 for public health reasons,” Rebecca Purdy, spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency, said in a statement to CBC News.
What is “essential travel” in Canada?
As mentioned above, any Canadian citizen or permanent resident may enter the country, as well as their immediate family members. This includes new permanent residents who are making their first landing in Canada.
Most work permit holders are eligible to enter Canada. Students with a valid study permit and their school is still open, are eligible to enter the country. Students whose school is not open but their primary residence is in Canada are also free to return.
The other main exemption is for essential workers and anyone involved in the transportation of goods and services. Canadian border officials do have some discretion when it comes to enforcing these rules and in exceptional circumstances, some non-essential travel will be permitted.
Anyone entering Canada, unless they are involved in the transportation of goods and services, must abide by the Mandatory 14-day isolation period.
Canadian immigration is still happening
Unlike the U.S. which has enacted sweeping immigration changes that suspend the admission of most temporary workers, Canada has not stopped accepting applications for both permanent and temporary immigration. Canada depends on newcomers to fuel economic growth and to keep the population growing.
Canada is flattening the curve
Canada is flattening the COVID-19 infection curve in recent weeks. As economies reopen and infection rates drop, more and more services and businesses are coming back online. The decision to continue to ban all non-essential is to give Canada more time to continue to flatten the curve and prevent more mass outbreaks like we saw in March and April.
As of June 29, Canada currently has 103,918 active cases of COVID-19 and reported only a total of 668 new cases across the country. For more information on Canada’s COVID-19 numbers, click here.