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Canada sees more restrictions coming as coronavirus cases soar.
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Many Canadians can expect more restrictions after the number of coronavirus cases in the country jumped significantly.
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Entry screening is an important public health tool amongst others. Canada Border Services Agency officers are trained to perform entry screening as part of a multilayered government response strategy.
U.S. travellers and foreign nationals who are processed by a border services officer at an air, land, marine or rail border will be asked about the purpose of their visit and whether they are feeling ill or unwell. The border services officer may ask additional questions to make their determination.
Canadians and Americans cross the border every day to work or study, for example, truck drivers, firefighters and nurses. All of these people and goods will not be impacted by the new border measures.
However, individuals, who are not Canadians or permanent residents, presenting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, will be restricted from entering Canada.
Canadians and permanent residents presenting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 may still enter Canada by land, rail and marine, but not via air, in order to ensure the health of all travellers.
All international passenger flight arrivals have been redirected to four airports:
- Calgary International Airport
- Vancouver International Airport
- Toronto-Pearson International Airport
- Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
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In a CBC radio interview, Canada’s foreign minister, François-Philippe Champagne, said that his office has received close to 10,000 calls and 14,000 emails in the past 48 hours from Canadians seeking to come home. He said it is “probably the largest repatriation effort in Canada’s history in peacetime.”
Many Canadian citizens and residents have returned to Canada in the past week, but travel is becoming more complicated. Champagne said he has had to negotiate flights in countries where there are airspace or airport closures and near-martial law in some places.
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This is the time of year that Canadians usually flee the long, dark winter. Sometimes called “snowbirds,” they fly to warmer climes, where many are now stranded.
The flights this week will bring home Canadian passengers from Morocco, Spain, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala. Passengers are given a health screening before they board and the returnees are asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
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Canada is conducting a massive airlift, bringing thousands home at no cost in cooperation with Canada’s commercial airlines. As domestic routes are cut back, repatriation flights are increasing, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a live broadcast on Monday.
“For Canadians stranded abroad, we are working with airlines to get people home,” he said, in a speech where he also issued an emphatic call for Canadians to heed health warnings.
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The repatriation flights will leave Canada empty and return with as many people as possible. The planes will only be permitted to land at the international airports in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, as Prime Minister Trudeau limited international landings as of March 18, to enhance screening.
Trudeau’s message to Canadians on Monday was his toughest so far. “Enough is enough,” he said, “Go home and stay home, this is what we all need to be doing.” He cited reports that Canadians were not taking the health crisis seriously.
Coronavirus Canada Quarantine
Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
- respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
- close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
Coronavirus Canada Symptoms
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known incubation period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered less common.
Symptoms have included:
- difficulty breathing
- pneumonia in both lungs
In severe cases, infection can lead to death.
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These new restrictions prohibit any foreign national, including U.S. nationals, from entering Canada for optional or discretionary purposes (non-essential travel).
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Any foreign national is prohibited from entering Canada by the air and marine modes if they arrive from a foreign country other than the U.S.
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As of March 21, 2020, a temporary 30-day restriction on all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border has been implemented.
This restriction covers all travel of an optional or discretionary nature, including but not limited to:
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- Foreign national, including U.S. citizens, who have been in the U.S. and Canada for more than 14 days (as per the order governing travel from the U.S. to Canada)
- immediate family member of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
- person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act
- person who is authorized, in writing, by a consular officer of the Government of Canada to enter Canada for the purpose of reuniting immediate family members
- airline or marine crew member
- accredited diplomat and immediate family members, including representative from the United Nations and international organizations for which Canada is part of
- foreign national travelling at the invitation of the Canadian government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
- person who arrives by means of an aircraft operated by the Canadian Forces or the Department of National Defence
- member of the Canadian military, visiting forces, and their family members
- protected person presenting a convention refugee travel document
- a French citizen who resides in St. Pierre and Miquelon (SPM) who has only been in SPM, the U.S. or Canada during the period of 14 days before the day on which they board
- person or any person in class of persons who, in the opinion of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer does not pose a risk of significant harm to the public health, or will provide essential service while in Canada
- transiting passengers through Canada to another country
- transiting passengers will be subject to any travel bans and restrictions the third country has in place
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Travel by healthy people who have to cross the border to go to work or for other essential purposes, such as medical care, will continue.
Some examples of essential travel purposes are:
- crossing the border for work and study
- economic services and supply chains
- critical infrastructure support
- health, immediate medical care, safety and security;
- shopping for essential goods such as medication or goods necessary to preserve the health and safety of an individual or family
- other activities at the discretion of the border services officer
Both Canada and the U.S. recognize how closely our economies are integrated, and it is essential that trade continue during this pandemic.
This order ensures that economic supply chains remain open and we will work to facilitate the continued access to goods and services, uninterrupted.
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Until June 30, 2020, travel to Canada will be restricted for all foreign nationals coming from any country other than the United States (U.S.). Other restrictions apply to those travelling from the U.S.
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He announced that the government would launch a national advertising campaign to urge social distancing and hygiene, and compel Canadians to do their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Trudeau also said that “nothing that can help is off the table” and he would impose more enforcement if needed, including a hotline for reporting people who violate public health instructions.
Coronavirus Canada Government
The Government of Canada is continually assessing travel risks for Canadians. An official global travel advisory is in effect: Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. In addition, a pandemic COVID-19 travel health notice with travel health advice for Canadians has also been issued.
It may be increasingly difficult to travel in and out of some destinations. If you are currently in a destination with travel restrictions and your presence there is not essential, you should consider leaving by commercial means while these are still available.
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In total, more than 2,000 people have tested positive in Canada and 25 people have died, according to John Hopkins University.