Border restrictions increase as second wave begins

By Reann Fournier, Special to The Record
Border restrictions increase as second wave begins

In addition to the border restrictions that remain in place, the Government of Canada is strengthening the public health presence at the border and increasing quarantine monitoring.
An announcement was made about the new measures in a press release last week from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Health Ministries.
The restrictions that have been in place since March 2020, including a mandatory 14 day quarantine, will continue to be enforced, and there will be increased presence of federal public health officers at the border over the coming months to cover the ports of entry which account for 90 per cent of all traffic into the country.
There will be an increase in the use of digital forms in order to share critical information more quickly with the provinces and territories. The Public Health Agency has deployed digital portals for travelers to share their critical information, and compliance and enforcement efforts will be strengthened.
The release stated that, as of October, screening officers have been making approximately 7,800 calls daily to travelers entering Canada. The Public Health Agency and Service Canada are currently working to increase these numbers, as the calls are used to ensure that travelers are complying with quarantine requirements.
The list of fines for violations of the Quarantine Act are as follows: fines up to $1,000 can be issued in cases of non-compliance, and an individual may be ticketed more than once, resulting in multiple fines. Where the non-compliance is not addressed through a ticket and instead with charges laid under the Quarantine Act, an individual could face fines of up to $750,000 and up to six months in prison. Willfully or recklessly contravening the Quarantine Act could also result in fines of up to $1 million and three years imprisonment.
The release also included that processes to support family reunification, international students, and entry for ‘compassionate reasons’ are also being introduced. These processes will provide entry of certain extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residences, foreign nationals for compassionate reasons in specific circumstances (life-threatening illness, critical injury or death), and, starting Oct. 20, 2020 international students if they will be attending a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan in place.
Any information on who may qualify to enter Canada and the process for travel and entry will be available on Oct. 8, 2020, on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.

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