This is great news for people who have families in our neighbouring country and even around the world. The Canada-U.S. border closure won't apply to family members soon because of changes to who's considered an exception. Other people will also start to be allowed to come to Canada from other countries in the near future.
Who will be allowed to come to Canada?
The federal government announced that changes are coming whereby people are allowed to cross the border into Canada and that includes long-term exclusive relationships and relatives.
People can enter Canada if they're certain extended family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
That includes those in an exclusive relationship of at least one year and their dependent children.
Adult children, grandchildren, siblings and grandparents are also part of this.
Foreign nationals will also be allowed entry into Canada for compassionate reasons like life-threatening illness, critical injury or death.
There's also the potential for a limited release from quarantine in those situations.
Finally, international students can come into the country again if they'll be attending a designated learning institution with a COVID–19 readiness plan that the government has looked over.
When will this be happening?
No date has been set yet for when family members and foreign nationals can start coming into Canada again.
Detailed information about who could qualify as an extended family member will be posted on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website on October 8.
That will also include the requirements to be eligible to travel and enter the country along with the process.
Every traveller will need to apply and be issued authorization before they can leave their country and come to Canada.
For foreign nationals looking to come here for compassionate reasons, information on eligibility and the process will be available on the Public Health Agency of Canada website on October 8.
The federal government stressed that nobody should make travel plans until they've met the requirements and received authorization.
International students can come into Canada starting on October 20.
What other changes are coming to the border?
Canada is strengthening health and safety measures at the border.
Federal public health officers will be out in greater force in the coming months at 36 ports of entry that make up 90% of all traffic that comes into Canada during normal times.
A total of 190 of those officials will be working across the country by the end of the year.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is working to also increase the number of screening officers that make calls to travellers who've come into the country.
Law enforcement officers will follow up those calls with visits if people can't be reached or are suspected of not doing the 14-day quarantine.
Fines for not complying range from $1,000 to $750,000 and up to 6 months in prison to up to $1 million and three years in jail.
Some U.S. senators sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking that restrictions at the Canadian border be eased.
An international travel ban that restricts non-citizens and non-permanent residents from entering the country has been extended to October 31.
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