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Canada relaxes U.S. border conditions for family reunifications


June 9th, 2020

Vehicles are seen here crossing the Blue Water Bridge connecting Ontario and Michigan on March 18, 2020. The current border agreement with the U.S. and Canada is due to expire on June 21.

The border has been closed for non-essential travel since March.

Canada’s ban on non-essential crossings of the U.S.-Canada border is being loosened slightly to allow some families to reunite, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday morning.

The revision means immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed in, as long as they have no sign they might have COVID-19 and no reason to believe they might have caught it.

The border restrictions still require anyone entering the country from the United States to self-isolate for two weeks to reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

“If you don’t follow these rules, you could face serious penalties,” Trudeau warned.

The change applies at midnight Monday night in the Eastern time zone.

Canadians always have a right to return to this country from abroad, but some families have been divided because of some of their members’ citizenship status.

Trudeau says details will come later on Monday, but the measure is aimed at families with unusual circumstances, such as when one parent is not a citizen.

The current agreement with the U.S. expires June 21, but it has been extended twice already for a month at a time.