Friday,  October 30, 2020  9:40 pm

Ottawa extends quarantine order, international travel ban to Sept. 30

Ottawa extends quarantine order, international travel ban to Sept. 30
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

The Canadian government has announced that it is extending its travel restrictions on international travel by 30 days. 

"Our government is extending the existing restrictions on international travel to Canada by one month - until September 30th, 2020 - to limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in our communities," wrote Bill Blair, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on his Twitter on Friday (Aug. 28). "Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada will continue to be subject to strict quarantine measures." 

The restrictions were set to expire on Aug. 31st. 

The extension applies to foreign travellers entering Canada from outside the United States. Canada has a separate agreement for border crossings with the U.S., which is in place until Sept. 21.

Exemptions to the order and other details can be found here

Trudeau is being careful

To limit the spread of COVID-19, travellers entering Canada must follow the rules set out by the emergency orders under the Quarantine Act.

At a press conference in June, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is being “very, very careful” about when and how Canada will start reopening its international borders.

'"...if we move forward too quickly, and if we’re not absolutely certain of what we’re doing at every step, we run the risk of getting into a second wave of infection as we’re seeing in certain places in the world,” Trudeau said at the time.

Ottawa first introduced quarantine rules for incoming travellers and returning Canadians on March 25th under an Order in Council. 

Canadians have a legal obligation to follow the self-isolation order. The Canada Border Services Agency can intervene, for example, if it suspects that someone is not going to follow the rules.

Maximum penalties for failing to comply with the Quarantine Act include a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. 

Canada's approach to travel restrictions differs greatly from those in the U.S., where COVID-19 cases have topped roughly 5.9 million. 

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed the recommendations on its website, removing the mandatory portion of its self-isolation requirements for returning travellers. 

Americans, however, are still advised to follow COVID-19 protocols, such as mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding friends, family and colleagues for 14 days after travel to prevent spreading.

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