Canada is rolling over travel restrictions until November 30.
On the same day it announced its historic Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, Canada published a new Order in Council stating the extension of travel restrictions that have existed since March.
Earlier today, Canada announced its most ambitious immigration levels plan in its history by stating it would aim to admit over 401,000 immigrants per year beginning next year.
The purpose of this goal is to offset the decline in immigration to Canada caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
This is now the fifth time Canada is extending border closures since they were first closed from March 18 to June 30. Since then, travel restrictions have been extended on a monthly basis.
The border is closed to foreign travellers who are coming to Canada for a non-essential reason such as recreation, tourism, or entertainment.
Some people are exempt from travel restrictions, such as:
- Canadian citizens (including dual citizens) or permanent residents;
- certain people who have been approved for Canadian permanent residence;
- certain temporary foreign workers;
- certain international students;
- protected persons;
- immediate family members of Canadians;
- extended family members of Canadians;
- people coming to Canada for compassionate reasons; or
- anyone else who falls under the exemptions listed on the government’s webpage.
Earlier this month, Canada eased travel restrictions on students, and extended family members.
The federal government is also allowing people to come to Canada for compassionate reasons, such as:
- to be present during the final moments of life for a loved one, or to provide support or care for someone who is critically ill;
- to provide medical support to a person who needs it; or
- to attend a funeral, or end of life ceremony.
These compassionate travellers will also be able to apply for a break from the mandatory quarantine requirement.
Before coming to Canada, they can fill out a an application to get limited release from quarantine before the 14 days are up.
They can use this time to say goodbye to loved ones.
The only other exemptions to the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement are:
- crew members;
- people invited by the health minister to help with the COVID-19 response, and other healthcare workers;
- members of visiting forces who are coming to work;
- people coming to receive medical services within 36 hours of their arrival;
- crossing the border in a trans-border community;
- people crossing into Canada aboard a “vessel” for the purposes of research, as long as they stay on the vessel; and
- other circumstances listed in the new Order in Council.
In all cases, Canadian border services officers have the final say on who gets to enter the country.
Canada has a separate order in place that has also limited cross border travel between it and the U.S. since March. This order was extended for the seventh time earlier this month.
The travel restrictions have reduced immigration to Canada significantly. Canada aimed to welcome 341,000 immigrants this year but is on track to welcome 200,000 or fewer because of disruptions caused by COVID-19.
To compensate, Canada announced earlier in the day it would significantly hike its targets to 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021. As outlined under Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan 2021-2023, the country aims to welcome over 1.2 million immigrants over the next three years to support its post-COVID economic recovery.