Students from any country will soon be able to reenter Canada – that's if their school is prepared for the possibility they might be travelling with COVID-19.
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino, was the first to announce the impending change to federal travel restrictions.
“Starting in late October, international students attending a designated learning institution that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID-19 readiness plan will also be able to enter Canada,” he posted to Twitter.
This includes learning institutions assisting their international students in quarantine by providing food or medication as needed.
Readiness plans also need to establish protocols for the health of students if there are COVID-19 cases at the school, according to a federal news release.
The lifting of travel restrictions for students will take effect Oct. 20.
“This change to travel restrictions affects all international students, regardless of where they are travelling from or when their study permit was approved,” according to the release.
UBC president 'grateful'
In Vancouver, British Columbia, this has been a cause for celebration – particularly from UBC president and vice-chancellor Santa J. Ono, who was glad to hear the news.
“I’m grateful to the federal government and provincial governments and members of the UBC community for working together to support the safe entry of international students to Canada,” Ono tweeted in response.
Family members might be able to accompany international students during their travel to Canada if their reason is “non-optional,” such as helping the student establish themselves in the new country.
According to the government, “this could include a spouse, a dependant, or in the case of a minor child who will be studying in Canada, a parent or legal guardian.”
All those who reenter Canada continue to be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.