Canada has announced that it will open its shut borders to only returning foreign students as well as lovers, mostly non Canadians who are in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian. This was made known yesterday by the country’s Minister of Immigration.
A ban on non-essential international entries was extended this week until the end of October, as the country grapples with a surge in new coronavirus cases. But Ottawa signalled it would seek to facilitate more reunifications.
“We recognise that travel restrictions should not keep loved ones apart,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino told reporters.
“In these challenging times, we know those challenges are best met with the strength and support of those we love by our side,” he said.
Canadian media have reported on a number of border breaches by love-struck Americans, including one man who broke pandemic rules to meet up with his Canadian girlfriend in Alberta and go sightseeing. He was fined and ordered out of the country.
In another case, an American sailed to the Canadian Pacific coast to pick up his Canadian girlfriend. The couple were intercepted by the coast guard, and each was returned to their respective country.
Several couples have also met at the border for dates, each staying on their respective side.
The border changes announced on Friday go into effect on October 8 and allow in foreign partners in an exclusive dating relationship of at least one year, as well as their children, grandparents and siblings.
It will also allow in foreign nationals for compassionate reasons such as a life-threatening illness, critical injury or death.