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canada international travel restrictions

Canada international travel restrictions extended to September 30

For the third time Canada international travel restrictions will be extended for at least another month, the government said.

“Our government is extending the existing restrictions on international travel to Canada by one month — until September 30, 2020 — to limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair in a Tweet sent out Friday afternoon.

Despite ongoing travel restrictions, the number of international travelers arriving in Canada by air has increased significantly in recent months. Canada Border Services Agency reported that roughly 60,000 international passengers arrived in Canada each week during August. This includes travelers on flights from the U.S.

While the growing number of international travelers coming to Canada during the ongoing pandemic is raising concerns, Canadian airlines continue to press the government for fewer restrictions and a loosening of quarantine measures.

Canada international travel restrictions

The ongoing restrictions prohibit all non-essential or discretionary travel to Canada from countries other than the United States. This includes any leisure travel, such as vacation and entertainment travel, for non-Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

The extension order does not affect the Canada-U.S. land border, which remains closed to all non-essential travel until Sept. 21.

Canadians who choose to travel abroad, including to the U.S., will be required to self-isolate upon their return and will be asked upon entry whether they have a cough, fever or are having difficulty breathing.

Essential workers, including health-care professionals, airline crews and commercial truckers will continue to be exempt from quarantine measures.

Some immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will also be allowed to enter Canada by air if exempt.

Despite the restrictions, Canada immigration programs remain active and the government is constantly introducing temporary flexibility measures in some immigration programs and processes hard-hit by the pandemic. See for example:

Who can come to Canada?

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the following groups of people are exempt from travel restrictions:

  • Canadian citizens;
  • Permanent residents;
  • Some people who have been approved for Canadian permanent residence;
  • Some temporary foreign workers;
  • Some international students; and
  • Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents (spouses or common-law partners, dependent children, dependent children of dependent children, parent or step-parent, guardian or tutor).

See IRCC’s complete list of exempt individuals.