Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is implementing stricter rules on travellers transiting to Alaska from the U.S. through Canada.
The new rules applies to people travelling for non-discretionary reasons, which may include individuals going between states for work or to reach their primary residence in the United States, according to a previous border service memo on essential travel.
Drivers going through Canada to get through to Alaska are only allowed to pass through the border at certain points of entry, according to the new Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) rules. They will be allowed a reasonable period of time to stay to carry out the transit, but must use the most direct route from the border crossing to the intended exit, avoiding all leisure sites, national parks, and tourism activities. They will also be requested to report to CBSA to confirm their exit from Canada before entering the Unites States,
Canadian border officers will give out hang tags for drivers to attach to their rear-view mirror for the full length of their trip. The front of the tag will indicate that the travellers are transiting and will include the date or period when they must exit Canada. The back side of the tag, facing the driver, will remind travellers to comply with the conditions of their entry, the Quarantine Acts, and a list of public health and safety measures.
The list presented by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) ask travellers to:
- avoid contact with other travellers while on transit;
- remain in the vehicle as much as possible;
- not making any unnecessary stops;
- practicing physical distancing at all times;
- pay at the pump if they need gas;
- use a drive-thru if they need food or supplies;
- wear a suitable face mask or face covering while in transit;
- ensure good hygiene practices if they need to use a rest room; and
- only use services that are open to travelers along the direct route on which they are travelling.
Travelers coming to Canada from Alaska are not limited to designated ports of entry POE). People driving from the contiguous States have to enter at one of the designated entry points, or else they will be turned back and asked to go to one of the following five ports:
- Coutts in Alberta;
- Abbotsford-Huntington in B.C.;
- Kingsgate in B.C.;
- North Portal in Saskatchewan; or
- Osoyoos in B.C.
Canada Border Services Agency also says that officers may put additional measures on travelers who enter Canada.
As of March 31, the CBSA collects travelers’ contact information either by paper, the ArriveCAN app, or in conversation with the border officer when seeking entry.
Travelers’ information is collected for Canada’s public health and regional health agencies to ensure compliance with the fourteen (14) day quarantine or isolation requirement. The contact information is used to track travelers from a public health perspective.
Travelers who have coronavirus symptoms are not permitted to enter Canada, and providing false information to border officials may lead to being banned from entering or denied entry into Canada.
The Canada-U.S. border is temporarily closed to most foreign travels. Coming to Canada for tourism, recreation, entertainment is prohibited while the coronavirus disease is still a public threat.
If travelers do not comply with the border rules, they could face fines amounting to $750,000 or up to six months of jail time. If travelers cause a risk of death to another person while breaking quarantine rules they could be liable for up to a million dollars in fines, or three years of imprisonment.