Canada to remain closed to international tourism for another month

Published on : Monday, August 31, 2020

Canada has decided to remain closed to international tourism for at least another month following the extension of the present COVID-19 related restrictions until September 30, 2020. Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety, Canada officially announced in a recent statement that the government has extended the existing restrictions on international travel to Canada by one month to limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in the community.


He also stated that though Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be exempted from the border restrictions but will be subject to mandatory 14 day quarantine or isolation upon returning home. Moreover, all citizens and permanent residents have also been advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. All airline passengers in Canada will also have to undergo health check-up prior to boarding the flight.


On the other hand, travelers within Canada are likely to be subject to additional provincial, territorial and local public health measures at their final destination. However, they may be exempted from provincial or territorial border restrictions within Canada if their reason for travelling within Canada is to provide support to a business that is considered essential by Public Safety Canada and within a province or territory.


It was back during March that Canada originally closed its borders to all non-citizens and non essential travelers. Months later border closures for international tourists have been extended as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in parts of Canada. Additionally, the closure of the land border to all non-essential traffic between the United States and Canada has also been extended until at least the end of September 21, 2020.


According to the agreement, the flow of trade and commerce has been exempted from the restrictions alongside temporary foreign workers and vital health-care workers who live and work on opposite sides of the border.  Exemptions have also been made for Americans transiting to Alaska. Foreign nationals who are immediate family members of either Canadian citizens or permanent residents have also been given the permission to enter Canada as of June 9.


This has allowed both foreign and cross-border Canada-U.S. families to reunite in Canada under strict. Although a global travel advisory to avoid non-essential travel have been issued by the Canadian Government, Canadians are free to leave and return to the country for any reason including tourism. Several Canadian passengers are travelling to the United States as there are no restrictions on Canadians arriving by air for non-essential travel at present. However, U.S. citizens traveling for non-essential reasons are still not allowed to travel to Canada by either land or air. Any Canadian returning home is being placed under the Canada Quarantine Act to observe quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. Harsh penalties including fines up to $750,000 and even jail time is likely to be levied on people who fail to adhere to rules and are caught violating quarantines.


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