Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has stated that Canada is exploring an easing of travel restrictions that currently prevent some people from crossing the US border to enter Canada to reunite with their families.
Trudeau made the statement during his daily coronavirus briefing to the Canadian public on Friday 29 May.
The Canada-US border was first closed for effective non-essential travel on Saturday March 20 by mutual agreement because the two countries are trying to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Travel restrictions were initially put in place for 30 days, but have since been extended on two occasions, including the most recent on May 20.
Among those freed from travel restrictions include important workers, and immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, as long as the family members travel to Canada for non-discretionary purposes.
Direct family members have been defined as spouses, joint legal partners, dependent children, grandchildren, parents, stepparents, guardians, and tutors.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has provided guidance on how to define non-discretionary travel.
CBSA changes close relatives from entering Canada if it is deemed unimportant travel destinations.
During his remarks, Trudeau acknowledged the challenging nature of the restrictions for the family and said he hoped to seek a resolution.
However, he noted that easing travel restrictions caused concern among the Canadian provinces, who had consulted with him on this issue.
In fact, Trudeau noted that the issue was brought up recently on the evening of Thursday, May 28, when he spoke with the provincial prime minister.
According to the Prime Minister, several prime ministers expressed openness to relax travel rules for families on the grounds of affection, while other prime ministers felt that it could make efforts to hold COVID-19 more challenging.
Trudeau concluded by saying that the federal and provincial governments would continue to explore this topic while keeping Canadian safety and security at the forefront of the final decision taken.
Canada has implemented immigration, visa and special travel measures since mid-March.
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