OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Siblings, grandparents and adult children of Canadians and permanent residents are among those who will soon be exempt from COVID-19 border restrictions in Canada.
The expansion of who can enter Canada comes after increasing public pressure on the government to show more compassion to families who are separated.
Those who don’t directly qualify under the expanded family rules will be able to apply to enter for compassionate reasons. The specifics around how compassionate entry and the expanded family list will work will be released later.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that community spread of COVID-19, not incoming travelers, is currently the challenge in Canada. He said measures to keep Canadians safe can be implemented and improved while showing more compassion for divided families who don’t pose a risk to public health.
Canada first closed its borders to all but a shortlist of essential workers in the spring in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
After an outcry, the government allowed immediate family members of citizens and permanent residents, but many other family members had been left off the list of exemptions.