The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) has confirmed that the travel restriction exemptions for foreign workers that were announced are now in place. Workers who are exempt can now travel to Canada, including seasonal agricultural workers and all other temporary foreign workers vital to Canada’s agriculture industry.
If ravelling by air, workers need to pass a health check before they will be allowed to board their flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air. When workers arrive in Canada, they will undergo a health assessment before being allowed to leave the port of entry.
All international workers entering Canada must isolate for 14 days even if they have no symptoms. This is mandatory.Truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods are exempt from the isolation requirements.
The CPMA has also confirmed that, due to the lack of available housing inspectors in the current climate, a temporary approach for Housing Inspection Reports (HIRs) will be put in place, as follows:
- If an employer annot submit a recent HIR due to Coronavirus, the employer must first try to provide a satisfactory HIR obtained within the previous 3 years and is required to provide a new HIR to the Department within the duration of the work permit issued by that LMIA.
- If an employer cannot provide a satisfactory HIR obtained in the previous 3 years, an LMIA can be issued if the employer provides photos of the accommodation and is required to provide a new HIR to the Department within the duration of the work permit issued by that LMIA.
"While this is positive news, CPMA understands that work remains to be done to address financial and logistical challenges and ensure that our industry can get the workers we need to continue to put fresh fruits and vegetables on Canadian tables," says Ron Lemaire, CPMA president.