Okanagan growers relieved seasonal workers exempt from COVID-19 travel ban

The B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association is welcoming news that temporary foreign workers, including seasonal agricultural workers, will be exempt from federal air travel restrictions meant to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The exemption, announced Friday, comes after Transport Canada said earlier in the week that foreign nationals won’t be allowed onboard flights into Canada other than trans-border flights.

Travel by temporary foreign workers will also be considered essential travel for land border restrictions.

In announcing the exemption for seasonal agricultural workers, the federal government said there will be “health screening protocols before travel,” and workers arriving in Canada must self-isolate for 14 days.

“First priority is safety of Canadians,” Lucas said.

“We need to meet stringent requirements on protection of health. Once we are able to do that, then we would be able to access the program.”

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