The federal government announced a “limited exemption” that allows immediate family members of citizens or permanent residents to enter Canada at the U.S. border.
“This is an incredibly difficult time to be apart from a spouse, a child or mom or dad. We hear that,” Trudeau said on Monday from Rideau Cottage.
Trudeau stressed that anyone entering the country needs to quarantine for 14 days.
The exemption begins at midnight tonight.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said the exemption is not meant to allow weekend travel, or to allow family members to attend an event.
“It’s not so people can come and go as they please … it’s for family reunification,” Mendicino said.
Mendicino said everyone entering under the exemption still needs to follow strict 14-day quarantine rules, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19 before crossing the border.
Under the Quarantine Act, Canadians coming back to the country from travelling abroad are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days and must also have “credible” quarantine plans.
Breaking these rules could mean a $750,000 fine and/or imprisonment for six months.
Those penalties go up to $1 million and three years in prison should someone jeopardize another’s life while contravening the act.
Trudeau asked if he should get tested after attending rally
Prime Minister Trudeau was questioned about his attendance at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Ottawa on Friday.
Trudeau was asked if there should be repercussions for people breaking current social distancing rules to attend protests? And if not, could he explain how it’s fair that people eating pizza on a patio were fined $800 while thousands gathering for the demonstration were not?
Trudeau said he practised social distancing as best he could during the rally.
“It was important for me to attend, to be able to listen and share with people, I felt it was important that the Prime Minister be there,” Trudeau said.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam was asked if Prime Minister Trudeau should get tested after attending the Black Lives Matter rally in Ottawa in Friday.
Tam said the prime minister should evaluate his symptoms, monitor his symptoms and follow public health measures.
Trudeau endorses police body cameras
Trudeau began his media briefing on Monday by reflecting on reports about violence against Black and Aboriginal Canadians.
Trudeau said many people in this country don’t trust police. “In fact, people are afraid of our police,” he said.
“With the many disturbing reports of violence against Black Canadians and Indigenous people…we know that we need to do much more, and we need to do it now,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau then announced the federal government is moving forward with body cameras for the RCMP. Before that happens though, Trudeau said ‘the logistics’ of it need to be addressed first.
While the federal government has jurisdiction over the RCMP, the prime minister said he will be speaking with premiers about body cameras for officers in provincial and municipal police forces.
Trudeau called body cameras “a significant step to transparency” but also said they must address socio-economic and mental health issues.