Canada has announced an extension of restrictions on international travel in an effort to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus amid an ongoing second wave of the pandeic in the country.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair announced that travel restrictions on US citizens will be extended until December 21, and curbs on people arriving from other countries will be extended until January 21, 2021, Xinhua news agency reported.
The restrictions, which were brought forward on March 16, ban most foreign nationals from entering Canada for non-essential travel.
There are a number of exceptions for immediate family members of citizens, essential workers, seasonal workers, caregivers and international students.
The latest extension brings the timing of international travel restrictions in alignment with those governing the Canada-US land border.
Previously, international restrictions expired on the last day of each month while the Canada-US border restrictions expired on the 21st.
Both have been regularly extended since March.
“The government continues to evaluate the travel restrictions and prohibitions as well as the requirement to quarantine or isolate on an ongoing basis to ensure Canadians remain healthy and safe,” the Minister said in the statement.
“The ability to align US and international travel extension dates, as well as the mandatory isolation order, beginning on January 21, 2021, will enable the government to communicate any travel extensions or changes as quickly as possible and provide certainty for Canadians, US and international travellers.”
Canada has so far reported a total of 370,278 Covid-19 cases and 12,032 deaths.
Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said on Sunday reiterated a stark warning she made the previous day, saying the country could see up to 10,000 cases a day in mid-December “if we continue on the current pace” of infection.