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Canada and the USA to close the border for non-essential travelers

Canada and the USA have agreed to an unprecedented agreement that will suspend all non-essential travel between their borders in an effort to stem the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This agreement is in addition to the travel restrictions announced yesterday for all other countries. 

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This means that if you were planning on traveling between the two countries for tourism or recreational purposes, you will be refused at the port of entry, even if you have a valid visitor visa. If you have symptoms of the virus, you will not be allowed to board a plane but if you present yourself at a land border, you will be referred to public health authorities on the Canadian side of the border and allowed entry to Canada. Prepare for long wait times at airports and land borders as additional screenings are currently in place.

As with most of the latest travel restrictions imposed, there is no specified end date for these measures. The two governments will evaluate the situation and strengthen or relax travel restrictions as the situation unfolds.

If you have a valid work or student permit, you should still be allowed to cross the border but you should do so as soon as possible to avoid any future travel restrictions.

Assistance for Canadians Abroad

For any Canadians (citizens or permanent residents), the Government of Canada has created a financial program that awards $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada and to temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return.

The government has also announced an $82B COVID-19 emergency response package for Canadians and Canadian businesses.

This is a developing story and we will keep you updated as information becomes available.

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