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Border exemptions introduced for families, students and compassionate reasons; Ontario will ‘pause’ social bubbles

COVID-19 In Canada
COVID-19 In Canada

Canada introduces exemptions to border restrictions

Beginning on Oct. 8, certain extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and people who want to come to Canada for compassionate reasons, will be able to enter the country.

Family members who qualify include:

  • Individuals in an exclusive dating relationship with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least one year, who have physically spent time with each other, 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, grandparents and siblings (including half and step siblings)

Pre-arrival approval is required, with more details on the application process set to be revealed next week, and each individual must be staying in Canada for more than 15 days.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said individuals in an exclusive dating relationship must have been dating for a period of at least one year and are required submit a notarized declaration of their relationship status to relevant authorities.

Beginning on Oct. 20, international students who are studying at a designated learning institution, that has been approved by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID-19 readiness plan, will also be able to enter Canada.

Mendicino stressed that travellers should not make any travel plans until they have received all the necessary pre-arrival authorizations.

Anyone coming into Canada needs to following all the public health measures in place, including the 14-day quarantine requirement.

Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, said foreign nationals coming into Canada on compassionate grounds can apply for a “limited release” from the mandatory quarantine.

She explained these “very specific” situations include being with someone you love to say goodbye at the end of their life, or a funeral or end of life ceremony. This exemption will be allowed in coordination with provincial or territorial government and must be approved before arrival.

Hajdu stressed that the COVID-19 cases in Canada, at this point, are largely related to community transmission, not travel.

Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, specified that only about two per cent of cases in Canada are related to travel.

“That isn’t an argument for reducing our efforts at the border and rather, in fact, it’s evidence of the efficacy of the work that we have done, effectiveness of both the public health response…and the efforts of our border service officers,” he said.

“The robust travel restrictions we’ve put into place to protect the health and safety of Canadians remains in effect,” Mendocino stressed. “The pandemic is an ongoing threat and we need to continue to be cautious and restrictive about who can enter into Canada.”

“We recognize, however, that these restrictions shouldn’t keep loved ones apart.”

Canada ‘scaling up’ federal public health presence at border

Blair confirmed Friday that the federal government is “dramatically scaling up” public health presence at the Canadian border to cover 36 points of entry, which

This Doctor Wants to Make Medicine More Compassionate

News

Meet Naomi Rosenberg, one of our 2020 Health Hero semi-finalists.


Naomi Rosenberg is one of our 2020 Health Hero semi-finalists. | Photo provided, design by Meredith Getzfread.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be chatting with our semi-finalists in the 2020 Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge brought to you by Independence Blue Cross to give you a glimpse of the people who are helping Philadelphians live healthier lives. Vote to help decide which of these 10 semi-finalists become one of three finalists in the running to be our 2020 Health Hero — and get a sizable donation to a charity of their choice — here. Remember, you can vote once a day until October 1st!

Name: Naomi Rosenberg, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Nonprofit of choice: Mighty Writers. At Mighty Writers, more than 3,000 kids learn to think clearly and write with clarity every year. The program has been running since 2009. All of their programs are free to the children they serve, and since the coronavirus crisis, they have expanded a Food and Literacy Distribution Program in order to provide food for kids. “At Temple we have started a new program in Narrative Medicine to help young doctors and others on the healthcare team more deeply understand stories of sickness, healing, injury and of health,” Rosenberg explains, “I am anxious for young doctors to have more exposure to this work that I wish had been a part of my medical education. Patients need doctors who are better at listening. I think we have a way to teach it more effectively. Mighty Writers is currently doing critical work keeping young kids reading and writing during a time of deep isolation.”

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What motivates you to try and make Philadelphia a healthier place?

I went to school at University of Pennsylvania and trained in emergency medicine at Temple University Hospital. Philadelphians have taught me how to be a doctor. I have much to give back to them. Doctors often live where they work and work where they live. It allows us to know what impacts our patients. Living in the city and staying close, geographically, to the patients I help take care of has been important to me. Caring about what happens to the people around me and fighting for the wellness of others — friends or strangers — has been ingrained in me from a young age.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.

There are countless moments when, by paying close attention, I learned something that would change my life. When I was young, I spent time with my father on weekends accompanying him to the National Institute of Health where he worked to find a cure for cancer. When very young I would sit at the desk in his office