(File photo)

The Canada Border Services Agency says it will be extending a wide ban on international travel that bars entry to foreign nationals from any country other than the United States.

CBSA spokesperson Rebecca Purdy confirmed in an email to Victoria Buzz that the Order-in-Council that set the ban to expire on June 30 will be extended to July 31.

Limited exceptions are permitted under the order, including immediate family members, members of the Canadian Forces, or airplane crews.

The travel ban is separate from another order prohibiting non-essential travel between Canada and the U.S., which was extended in June and is set to expire on July 21, 2020.

The international travel ban extension from Ottawa comes shortly after the European Union announced that it would be allowing tourists from “safe” countries—including Canada—to enter the EU.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning to Canada after travelling abroad must self-isolate for 14 days under the Quarantine Act.

Violations of the Act are punishable by fines up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for six months. If a person causes a risk of death or serious bodily harm, they can face up to $1 million in fines and/or imprisonment up to three years.

Despite travel restrictions remaining in place, WestJet and Air Canada recently announced they would be loosening restrictions on seat distancing policies as domestic air travel returns.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says that Transport Canada and Health Canada have jurisdiction over airline operations.

Dix added that if the federal authorities approve of the removal of seat distancing policies for Canada’s two largest airlines, they need to be explicit in explaining why the move is considered safe at this time.