Canada’s international travel restrictions, in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, have been extended by another month, to October 31, 2020.
The decision was made via a federal government Order in Council, published on September 28. The existing travel restrictions, in place since March, had been due to expire on September 30.
It means that the restrictions due to COVID-19 will have been in place for at least seven months. With a second wave of the pandemic currently hitting many parts of the country, it is likely the restrictions will be further extended.
The Order in Council notes that “no reasonable alternatives to prevent the introduction or spread of the disease are available.”
The restrictions cover travellers arriving from a foreign country other than the United States. The travel ban affecting the Canada-U.S. border is covered by a separate agreement, that currently expires on October 21, 2020.
The following people can currently travel to Canada:
- Citizens and permanent residents.
- Work permit holders travelling for non-optional and non-discretionary reasons.
- International students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, on March 18, 2020, who are travelling for non-optional and non-discretionary reasons.
- Permanent resident applicants who had been approved for permanent residence before the travel restrictions were announced on March 18, 2020, but who had not yet travelled to Canada.
- Immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
- Anyone else covered by exemptions listed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
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Anyone entering Canada is still required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival and provide CBSA officers with a viable quarantine plan.
Canada immigration numbers dropped off in July, halting the recovery seen since the start of the coronavirus crisis.
The latest federal government figures show 13,645 new permanent residents were admitted during the month, nearly 30 percent down on the 19,180 admissions in June.
July’s figures are also dramatically down on the same month of 2019 when 36,615 new permanent residents were admitted.
New ‘arrivals’ can either be candidates already in Canada transitioning from a temporary status, or those from overseas who were approved before March 18.
Figures for the first seven months of the year show Canada has now fallen well behind its target of 341,000 new permanent resident arrivals in 2020.
Between January and July, Canada welcomed 117,075 new immigrants, down from 196,845 in the same period of 2019.
The drop off in numbers have all come since March, when coronavirus restrictions fully took hold, with 47,905 newcomers welcomed in 2020, compared to 130,890 in 2019.