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Families trapped in border closure may be able to come home

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is looking to ease Canada-U.S. border restrictions that could allow immediate families to reunite.

“We have been looking at ways of perhaps allowing close family members, children, spouses, or parents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to be able to reunite under strict conditions through a slight modification of the directives for the Canadian Border Services Agency,” Trudeau said Friday.

The prime minister indicated that this could be done without a change to the cross-border agreement in place with the United States that otherwise has banned all non-essential travel until June 21 at least. It’s likely that should this go ahead, the 14- day quarantine upon arrival in Canada would still need to occur.

The border between Canada and the U.S. has been closed to all non-essential or “discretionary” travel since mid-March in response to the pandemic, resulting in families being separated for more than two months now.

Trudeau said he is aware of a number of cases where close families have been apart due to their differing citizenship, and so the federal government is now “looking at how can we support families that are going through extremely difficult times.”

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