Trudeau: Canada looking to ease travel for families
The Coronavirus pandemic saw Canada and the United States agree to close their border to curb the spread of the fatal infectious disease. This prevented many families from coming back to Canada to stay with their loved ones. Even so, when Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was delivering his coronavirus briefing on May 29, as he does daily, he announced some excellent news.
Canada is thinking about removing the travel restrictions that have been put in place to make it easier for some people to cross the U.S. border. This will enable these individuals to travel to Canada whenever it is convenient for them so that they can be with their family and friends.
Canada-US Border Closure
The US-Canada border has been closed since March 20th to stop any non-essential traveling activities by citizens or residents of both states. The goal has been to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths reported daily. At first, both parties agreed that the border closure was to last a month. However, due to the high rise in coronavirus cases, that period was extended twice, the last time being on May 20th.
Even when the travel restrictions were made official, they did not affect all travelers to Canada. Some of the people who were still allowed to cross the border included:
- Essential employees, such as health workers and professionals in the food and communication industries.
- Canadian citizens’ immediate family members – spouses, children (dependents), tutors, common-law partners, parents and grandparents, step-parents, as well as guardians. Even though, for a person to quality as part of this category, they must not have been influenced by another individual’s judgment or discretion – also referred to as “non-discretionary purposes”.
Of course, it might be a bit tricky to determine whether a Canadian is traveling for non-discretionary purposes, and that is where the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) steps in.