Hundreds of thousands of foreigners have entered Canada despite pandemic

Hundreds of thousands of foreigners have entered Canada despite pandemic

While the “touristatas” and their travels in the South were the wrath of the population during the Holidays, hundreds of thousands of foreigners have entered Canada since the start of the pandemic.

Based on data from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) compiled by The newspaper, there were approximately 700,000 entries of foreign nationals into Canada from March 21 to December 27, 2020.

This represents almost 40% of the approximately 1.86 million admissions in the country recorded during this period.

Like all travelers who arrive in Canada since the spring, foreigners must quarantine themselves for 14 days.

“The majority of them [vont] in [leur] family or acquaintances and we take for granted that they are in their quarantine. We take their word. […] They are supposed to be isolated [de toute autre personne] during that time, but is it really done? The people I represent have doubts about it, ”says Jean-Pierre Fortin, national president of the Customs and Immigration Union.

According to Ottawa guidelines, a quarantine facility must have a separate bedroom, be provided with basic necessities for a period of two weeks, and not be a “small” apartment or a residence where “live. many people or a large family ”. In addition, a person in quarantine should avoid being in “close contact” with people who have not traveled.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured that officials are making 5,000 calls per day on average to follow up on quarantine compliance.

Relaxed rules

Visits by foreign nationals to Canada increased at the start of the summer. On June 8, the Trudeau government exempted from the ban on non-essential travel all foreigners whose at least one member of the “immediate family” resides here (spouse, parent or dependent child).

Then, on October 8, Ottawa again relaxed the rules by allowing foreign nationals to visit their adult children and grandparents living in Canada.

The inflows of foreign nationals were particularly high during the last week of August, when the return to school was in full swing, and in the week leading up to Christmas.

The arrival of some flights from abroad has caused crowds at certain airports, says Mr. Fortin.

“I was sent pictures of Toronto where there was no social distancing,” he says. There were around 100 people standing in single file waiting to speak to an immigration officer. ”

Ottawa recommends that Canadians avoid non-essential overseas travel, but leaves it up to each traveler to define exactly what that means.

It should be noted that in recent weeks, two federal Liberal MPs have lost their parliamentary functions after having made family trips abroad.

According to the government, less than 2% of COVID-19 cases are linked to travel abroad.

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