In March 2020, the ban on foreign travellers was announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and now is extended till July 31.
Due to COVID -19 pandemic, the Canadian government has decided to seal its border on March 16th, and recently an announcement was made that it will continue with this at least till the end of July 31 giving only exemption to that entering country from the United States for “essential ” reasons. Exempting few US travellers, the ban on foreign travellers will remain in place.
Prime Minister Trudeau recently indicated that ban would remain in place and verbalised it in a media brief as “The Federal government is going to be very, very careful about when and how we start reopening international borders.”
The announcement also came through a spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency, who stated “Agency has implemented travel restrictions across all ports of entry in all modes of transportation – land, sea, air and rail. All travel of an optional or discretionary nature, including tourism and recreation, are covered by these measures.”
Government to government level coordination facilitated few passengers and made some exemptions during this period as some repatriation flights took stranded Indians back home.
Non-essential travel between Canada and the United States remained paused till later in the month, and to those allowed to enter the country for “essential ” reason will have to follow stringent quarantine measures which will also be applicable till the end of July.
Alongside travellers like Canadians of Indian origin,permanent residents or immediate family members will have to confirm a suitable place to self-quarantine for a mandatory 14 – day period, otherwise, they may be allocated a government-approved facility.
At similar times, the announcement came from the European Union about lifting similar travel restrictions for citizens of 14 countries, which includes Canada also. But it seems Canada is in no hurry to immediately reciprocate by opening up travel to the country for EU residents. Thus, the ban on foreign travellers still includes EU residents.
Many students and NRIs, who were hoping to return to India will remain stranded in Canada for longer. On the contrary, travellers who came to visit families in India in January and February taking leave from work or their educational institutions remain stuck in India. These stranded NRIs and students have appealed governments of both the countries for special flight.
An NRI, Amanpreet Kaur told to a news portal that she had come to visit her village in the Doaba region in February to attend a family function and was scheduled to return on March 29 but she was still stuck in Punjab.” I desperately want to return home to my children and grandchildren.I appeal both governments to ensure safe travel soon .” she said.