Ottawa plans to extend the general travel ban that prohibits entry for all travelers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or Americans traveling for reasons considered essential, for at least one more month.
The order, which was due to expire tonight, “has been extended until July 31 for public health reasons,” said Rebecca Purdy, spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency, in a CBC statement. News.
The order – one of a series of new extraordinary measures introduced on March 16 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – prohibits most foreign nationals from entering Canada if they arrive from another foreign country than the United States (there are limited exceptions for air crews, diplomats and immediate family members of citizens. Certain seasonal workers, caregivers and international students are also exempt.)
The current decree – a Cabinet decision made without going to Parliament – was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Government intends to maintain blanket ban on foreigners entering Canada at this time, officials say, rather than change the order to reopen the border to certain countries – for example, those with low infection rates or those that allow Canadian tourists to visit.
Ottawa’s decision Tuesday to maintain the ban on foreign nationals entering Canada comes as the European Union agrees to allow certain tourists to enter the EU from tomorrow. Canada is among the 15 countries on the so-called “safe” list of the EU.
The EU said on Tuesday that it expects countries on this list to lift any bans it may impose on European travelers.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week pushed back pressure to ease the ban on international travelers, arguing that moving too fast could trigger a second wave of coronavirus.
“We are going to be very, very careful about when and how we start to reopen international borders,” said Trudeau at a conference on June 22.
“I understand how difficult and frustrating it is for some people, but we know that reopening too quickly or recklessly would lead to a resurgence that may well force us to lock out, shut down the economy once moreover, and nobody wants that. “
A separate order prohibiting non-essential travel between Canada and the United States is in effect until July 21.
Quarantine order also to be extended: official
Tuesday marks six months since the World Health Organization first became aware of a group of unusual cases of pneumonia in China – the first public indications of the emergence of the coronavirus.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned this week that the coronavirus pandemic is “not yet nearly over” and that the epidemic is accelerating worldwide. To date, WHO has recorded more than 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths worldwide.
CBC News reported on Monday that the federal government also intends to extend strict quarantine rules requiring travelers to isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. The separate order is also scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Under the Quarantine Act, travelers must also confirm that they have an appropriate place to isolate where they will have access to basic necessities, including food and medicine.
No one would be allowed to quarantine anywhere he could come into contact with vulnerable people. Those who, for example, normally live with an elderly person or a person with compromised immune systems should be quarantined elsewhere.
If the Canada Border Services Agency suspects that a returning traveler will not be following the rules, it can alert the Public Health Agency of Canada, which can then report to the National RCMP Operations Center. The RCMP played a coordinating role with local police during the pandemic.
Maximum penalties for non-compliance with the quarantine law include a fine of up to $ 750,000 and / or a prison term of six months. If someone endangers the lives of others while deliberately or recklessly breaking the law, the penalties are even heavier: $ 1 million or three years in prison, or both.