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Feds impose new restrictions on entry to Canada to combat spread of COVID-19


The federal government announced Monday restrictions on people entering Canada in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19. They include:

— Starting at noon Wednesday, anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident will be barred from boarding flights to Canada. This does not, for now, apply to citizens of the United States and there will be some other designated exceptions, including diplomats, air crews and immediate family members of Canadian citizens.

— Airlines are ordered to do basic health assessments of all passengers before boarding and ban all travellers, regardless of nationality, who show symptoms of COVID-19.

— Starting Wednesday, only four Canadian airports — the main airports in Toronto, Montreal,  Vancouver and Calgary — will receive many international flights. Domestic flights, as well as those from the U.S., the Caribbean, Mexico and St. Pierre and Miquelon are not affected.

— Upon arrival in Canada, all travellers from abroad will have to fill out a form that asks them if they have a cough, difficulty breathing or a fever and, regardless of their current state of health, they'll be required to acknowledge that they are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Exceptions from self-isolation will be made for essential workers who need to travel regularly into the U.S., including flight crews and truck drivers.

Canada Border Services Agency agents will distribute information leaflets to travellers from abroad and will be on the lookout for anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 16, 2020. 

The Canadian Press

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