In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government announced that starting Wednesday, non-citizens and non-permanent residents, with some exceptions, will be denied access into Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the decision was made after consulting with medical professionals and firmly believes it will help potentially save lives.
“I know that these measures are far-reaching, they are exceptional circumstances calling for exceptional measures.”
The restrictions will not slow access to Canada from the United States, as the land border will remain open between the two countries, with Canadians still abroad able to return home in a timely fashion. During his address from Ottawa on Monday, Trudeau also said the restrictions will not affect U.S. citizens, at least “at this time.”
The current crop of exemptions includes aircrew members, diplomats, and immediate family members of Canadian citizens.
Sweeping changes were also made when it comes to international flights, as inbound flights will only be accepted at Toronto Pearson, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary airports. Domestic, U.S., and Mexico flights will not be affected at this time.
Trudeau also announced anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to board a flight into the country, with airlines now required to perform basic health assessments of every passenger based on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines.