As the battle to contain the spread of coronavirus continues, Canada’s border with the U.S. will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least January 21.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the extension on Friday December 11, bringing the Canada-U.S. border closure in line with international travel restrictions. Both now expire on January 21, although are likely to be extended.
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The latest extension means the world’s longest land border is to be closed for at least 10 months.
Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in several U.S. states, while Canada is battling a second wave of the pandemic in several provinces.
The Canada-U.S. border has been closed to all non-essential traffic since March 21, with the government on both sides of the divide renewing the closure on a monthly basis.
Canada’s travel restrictions bar entry to all except citizens and permanent residents, with some exemptions.
Canada currently has exemptions in place for the following people, provided they are travelling for a non-discretionary reason.
- Seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers and all other temporary foreign workers.
- International students attending a Designated Learning Institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.
- 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 are also exempt if entering to be with an immediate family member for at least 15 days.
- Extended family members of citizens and permanent residents, plus foreign nationals travelling on compassionate grounds.
Recent news on the delivery of the first COVID-19 vaccines to Canada means a clearer picture is developing of when travel and border restrictions could be loosened.
Given the predictions being made by vaccine experts, it seems likely to be the second half of 2021 before travel normality can start to resume.