COVID-19 Diary – Day 204

Border Restrictions Update

Today the Canadian government announced some adjustments to restrictions on travel into Canada, that should be coming into effect soon. Under the new restrictions, the following extended family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents would be eligible to travel to Canada:

  • individuals in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least 1 year who have spent time in the physical presence of the Canadian citizen or permanent resident during the relationship and these individuals’ dependent children
  • non-dependent children (adult children who do not meet the definition of a dependent child in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations)
  • grandchildren
  • siblings (including half- and step-siblings)
  • grandparents

Any of the above people will be eligible to travel to Canada and will not need to prove necessity or an essential nature to their travel, as long as they:

  • are staying in the country for 15 days or more (including 14-day mandatory quarantine)
  • provide Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with the required documentation, including a completed and signed statutory declaration, to show they meet the definition of an extended family member of a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident
  • meet existing eligibility and admissibility requirements to enter the country
  • are travelling to Canada with a valid passport and travel document
  • have received written authorization from IRCC to travel to Canada as an extended family member

More detailed information on the above process will be made available on October 8th.

In addition to the above changes, the federal government also confirmed they are scaling up the number of public health officials that will be stationed at most ports of entry. A total force of 190 officials will be deployed across the country by the end of the fiscal year. There are also plans to increase the number of screening officers to ensure more consistent followup with anyone visiting from abroad.

Canada Begins Reviewing AstraZeneca Vaccine Candidate

Health Canada has confirmed that they have received their first request for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate to be authorized for use within Canada. The vaccine candidate belongs to AstraZeneca and is the same vaccine that is currently being investigated by the US FDA for potentially serious side effects relating to transverse myelitis.

On September 16th, Health Minister Patricia Hajdu signed an interim order to help facilitate the authorization process for COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Instead of having to wait for all the required data to be completed and available to be sent in as a complete package, companies may now begin the approval process and send in the completed data as it becomes available. This in turn allows Health Canada to process the data sooner, and hopefully means we can have a safe and viable vaccine much quicker than we otherwise would normally. Health Canada has also promised full transparency with the approval process and the data they base their decisions on.

Grand Opening Raffle – 3 days left

To celebrate our grand opening, we are giving away one of the special limited edition Dr. Bonnie Henry themed Compass Cards. To enter the raffle just leave a comment on any of the weekly posts starting today until October 4th. Maximum of one entry per day, and no more than 5 entries per person. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Monday, October 5th’s daily post.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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