Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair and Minister of Health Patty Hajdu announced on Friday (Oct. 30) that Canada is extending its mandatory 14-day isolation order and travel restrictions for all non-US travellers, unless their travel is for non-discretionary reasons, to Nov. 30, 2020.
The government has also made some practical adjustments to provisions allowing limited Canada-U.S. cross-border travel, in a few specific circumstances.
Effective Oct. 31, 2020, residents of Campobello Island, New Brunswick; Stewart, British Columbia; Northwest Angle, Minnesota; and Hyder, Alaska will be exempt from mandatory 14-day quarantine only to access the necessities of life (e.g., food, medical services) from the nearest Canadian or American community.
“Our duty as a government is to protect the people of Canada and we are following the best public health guidance to make decisions regarding temporary travel restrictions, including extending the temporary border restrictions for both U.S. and international travellers. The limited and practical changes will continue to protect Canadians’ health and safety while removing hardships for children and for residents in remote communities impacted by the border restrictions," said Minister Blair in a statement.
In addition, students from Canada and the U.S. who regularly cross the border to attend school, along with one driver, and children who are subject to shared custody arrangements, along with one parent, are exempt from mandatory 14-day quarantine.
he new provisions to ease pressures related to cross-border students are conditional upon support from provincial and local public health authorities.
In addition, the government is allowing limited exemptions to mandatory quarantine to enable COVID-testing pilot projects, in coordination with provincial authorities, such as in Alberta.
In a statement, the government says it will "continue to monitor international alternatives to quarantine closely and will review the evolving science, including the role and timing of COVID-19 testing, in determining any changes to our current border measures."
The government also intends to implement new mandatory requirements for the electronic submission of information through the ArriveCAN app or website.
The ArriveCAN app was created as a secure and user-friendly alternative to the paper contact form to help travellers comply with these border measures.
This will allow traveller information to be shared quickly and securely with provinces and territories to facilitate contacting travellers for public health follow-up. It will also facilitate compliance verification by law enforcement.
These new requirements will come into effect on November 21, and more information will be shared in the coming days.
“Canadians have made sacrifices to respond to this new virus, and our government will continue to rely on evidence and data to protect them. The changes confirmed today will help those in remote and cross-border communities while still protecting Canadians from the public health risk posed by COVID-19," said Minister Hajdu in a statement.
Temporary Canada-U.S. border restrictions for all non-discretionary travel came into effect on March 21, 2020 and have been renewed until November 21, 2020.
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