Canada's immigration and border restrictions are set to ease up tomorrow after an extended coronavirus lockdown.
Starting October 8, extended family members of Canadians, as well as those visiting Canada on compassionate grounds, will be allowed to cross the border provided they quarantine for 14 days. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has also announced that beginning October 13, permanent residents and new Canadians will again be allowed to apply to sponsor grandparents and parents to immigrate to Canada. The refugee hearing process resumed in August.
But despite an easing of restrictions for refugees, immigrants and visitors to cross the border, holidays are being cancelled across Canada as politicians urge Canadians to not celebrate in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In New Brunswick, at least one town is cancelling Halloween, banning the door-to-door festivities out of fear of the virus. Many municipalities in Ontario are likewise considering pulling the plug on the ghoulish night.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has also urged families to stay apart this Thanksgiving, stating "This Thanksgiving, we're asking that you spend the holiday with just your household." He continued on to clarify, "That means sitting down for dinner with the people you live with."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed Ford's sentiments, going so far as to suggest that Canadians should be concerned about the fate of their Christmas. Trudeau went on to say that Canada's largest provinces were already experiencing a "second wave" of COVID-19.
In August, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam stated the coronavirus pandemic could extend into 2022 according to new models, which also predict up to 16,000 dead by the end of 2020. Later, Tam asserted that up to 50% of Canadians would have to be vaccinated in order to "shift towards normal."