Canada announced Monday that it would relax some border restrictions for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, including some who have been trying to enter from the United States.
Despite the change, a 14-day mandatory quarantine for anyone entering the country remains in place.
"If you don't follow these rules, you could face serious penalties," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa.
Trudeau acknowledged that this has been a hard time for some families kept apart because of the pandemic.
"This is an incredibly difficult time to be apart from a spouse, a child, or mom or dad," Trudeau said.
Nonessential travel into Canada is currently restricted, and that includes travel across the US-Canada border.
That mutual border agreement is set to expire June 21 but Trudeau has indicated that "stronger measures" to contain the virus might be needed even if the border reopens to discretionary travel.