Ottawa: Canada has eased border restrictions that were imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which will now allow more family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to enter the country, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced.
“The pandemic is an ongoing threat and we need to continue to be cautious and restrictive about who can enter into Canada,” Global News Canada quoted Mendicino as saying in a statement on Friday.
“We recognise, however, that these restrictions should not keep loved ones apart,” the Minister added.
Adult children, siblings, grandparents and those who have been in a committed relationship for at least a year, which will have to be proven by a notarized declaration, will now be allowed to enter Canada.
The process of entering will be published online in the coming days, while those who have the needed documentation can start arriving in the country from October 8 onwards, the Minister said.
Meanwhile, the government was also implementing a compassionate-entry program for those who do not qualify as family but want to come to Canada for reasons, such as to see a dying loved one.
Those granted compassionate entry may also be exempt from the current 14-day quarantine requirement, pending discussions with local health officials.
Also on Friday, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said that border restrictions with the US will remain in place until October 21, while curbs on foreign travellers will continue till October 31, Global News Canada reported.
Canada first closed its borders to all but a short list of essential workers earlier this year in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Regarding the new measure, Health Minister Health Minister Patty Hajdu said: “This disease is not going away any time soon. Countries will be struggling for a very long time.”
“This government believes firmly in compassion and we know that we needed to take these steps, given that this is not a short term problem.”