Canada announced on Sunday a further extension, until January 21, 2021, of the closure of its borders to foreigners whose presence is not considered essential.
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Since last March, travellers arriving in Canada, whether Canadian or not, have been subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
For its part, Canada’s border with the United States remains closed until December 21, under a separate bilateral agreement with Washington. Only trade in goods and merchandise and travel considered essential are allowed.
The closure of the world’s longest land border was decided in March and could be extended beyond December 21, the Canadian government said in a news release.
The government says it “will be in a position” as of January 21 to harmonize possible extensions of its U.S.-world border closures and the mandatory quarantine order.
Ottawa also announces the creation of a framework to “review applications from high performance amateur sport organizations wishing to host” events such as “world championships, Olympic or Paralympic qualifications, and world cups”.
The press release does not specify the events in question.
The city of Edmonton, Alberta (west), wants to host the World Junior Hockey Championships in a sealed bubble at the end of December, as it did this fall for the end of the North American Ice Hockey League (NHL) season.
For its part, the International Ski Federation had given up on travel to North America in 2020/21 in August, notably cancelling its Canadian leg in Lake Louise, Alberta, which traditionally takes place at the end of November.
Since the beginning of June, foreign nationals can join their family living in Canada if they are spouses, children, parents or legal guardians of Canadian citizens. Otherwise, only those whose presence on Canadian soil is deemed essential, such as certain employees, are admitted.
As of November 2, those participating in a pilot project in Alberta on alternatives to quarantine have been exempt.
These travellers are tested at Covid-19 when they arrive in the province through a specific land border crossing or at the Calgary airport, and if the results are negative, they are exempt from quarantine provided they are re-tested a week later.
On Sunday, Canada had more than 360,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 12,000 deaths.