In this photo taken May 17, 2020, de Rham family members from the U.S. and Canada visit at the border between the countries in Peace Arch Park, in Blaine, Wash. With the border closed to nonessential travel amid the global pandemic, families and couples across the continent have found themselves cut off from loved ones on the other side. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Feds to soon allow extended family, partners to apply to enter Canada

Those interested in entering the country will have to be approved by federal officials and quarantine

The federal government will soon be allowing extended family members and partners of Canadians to enter the country, so long as they follow ongoing COVID-19 quarantine rules and are approved by border officials.

In a statement Oct. 2, immigration, public safety and health ministers announced a suite of new measures to enforce and strengthen current travel restrictions at land borders across the country, noting that the mandatory quarantine measures, which require travellers to quarantine or isolate for 14 days immediately upon entry into Canada unless exempt, have been effective.

The Liberal government will be beefing up presence of federal public health officers at its 36 ports of entry to a total of 190 staff, as well as increasing the number of screening officers at call centres.

Starting Oct. 8, certain extended family members of exclusive partners of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents will be allowed to apply to reunify with their families.

This includes adult children, grandchildren, grandparents and partners of at least one year. Foreign nationals visiting for compassion reasons, such as life-threatening illnesses, critical injury or death, will also be considered for entry.

“Canadians made sacrifices, often heartbreaking, to respond to this new virus. Thanks to the measures in place and the public health presence at ports of entry, we can now confirm a new process for entry applications,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in a statement.

“While we want to be compassionate, we also need to manage the risk of community spread, and we must all continue to be vigilant. Cases of COVID‑19 are increasing, and we must all follow public health measures.”

Further details will be available next week on who may qualify to enter the country and how they can apply.

“There will be a robust process in place for extended family members, and each traveller will need to apply for and be issued an authorization before they can travel to Canada,” the government said.

Contact the Yukon News at editor@yukon-news.com

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