Canada will ease some border restrictions next Thursday to allow for more family reunifications, and plans to allow some new international students to attend learning institutions, Ottawa said on Friday.
Canada and the United States have banned non-essential travel across their shared frontier in a bid to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The measures prompted protests from those separated from family members.
“We recognize that travel restrictions should not keep loved ones apart. In these challenging times, we know those challenges are best met with the strength and support of those we love by our side,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters.
As of Oct. 8, Canada will allow the entry of certain extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, including those in an exclusive dating relationship of at least one year.
Foreign nationals can enter for compassionate reasons in specific circumstances, such as life-threatening illness, critical injury or death.
Starting on Oct. 20, entry will be allowed for international students accepted to Canadian universities with COVID-19 readiness measures in place. Previously, only international students who had valid study permits approved before March 18 and who were traveling directly from the United States were allowed to cross the border.