Those with family and friends living on either side of the international border shouldn't plan on getting together this Easter and Passover long weekend.

Luke Reimer, the spokesperson for Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), says now is not the time for social gatherings or travel for non-essential purposes.

"Restrictions are in place for all non-essential travel for foreign nationals including United States citizens and residents, and Canadians who are planning to cross the border," explained Reimer.

The Governments of Canada and the United States (U.S.) implemented restrictions on March 21, 2020, for all non-essential travel along the Canada-U.S. border in response to the spread of COVID-19. This means that travel across the border of an optional or discretionary nature is not permitted while these restrictions remain in place.

Reimer added examples of non-essential travel include visiting family, friends or a girlfriend, boyfriend or fiance; attending a party or celebration; going to a restaurant for take-out; and driving in transit for the purpose of taking a shortcut through Canada to get to a U.S. destination faster.

The restrictions also include tourism and recreation like sightseeing, fishing or hunting, and opening or checking on a cottage or seasonal home.

Reimer warns U.S. travellers will be returned to the States if they attempt to come to Canada for any non-essential purpose.

Canadians are again reminded that if they return to Canada from any foreign destination, that they must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days, which means no social gatherings or shopping upon return.

Reimer explained workers that cross the border on a regular basis, such as truck drivers, firefighters and medical workers as well as travellers who enter Canada to receive essential services will continue to be permitted to enter and will be exempt from the mandatory isolation requirement provided they are asymptomatic. They will, however, be required to self-monitor. In addition, they remain subject to questions about their health. He says if a traveller presents symptoms consistent with COVID-19 at the land border, foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter the country. Canadians showing symptoms will be referred to a Public Health Agency of Canada officer for further assessment.