FILE – Headlights from a line of cars shine at dusk as people evacuate the Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Pat Williams Russell via AP)

U.S. travellers heading to Alaska restricted to 3 B.C. crossings, including Kootenay port

U.S. travellers approved to enter Canada will have a deadline to return back over border

Americans travelling through Canada to get to northern U.S. states will now be restricted to three B.C. ports as the Canada Border Services Agency takes a tougher stance amid COVID-19.

Non-essential travel has been restricted between Canada and the U.S. since mid-March – an agreement likely to continue through the summer if Canadian health officials have anything to say about it.

However, in recent weeks complaints have arisen of U.S. travellers reportedly telling border guards that they’re entering B.C. and heading to Alaska but instead stay to vacation in the province.

As of Friday (July 31), stricter rules and additional entry conditions will be imposed on travellers driving through Canada, the CBSA announced Thursday.

Travellers will only be permitted to enter through B.C. at border crossings in Abbotsford, Osoyoos and Kingsgate – located near Yahk. They will have to take the most direct route to re-enter the U.S. and report their departure from Canada to a CBSA border officer.

Approved travellers will be issued a vehicle “hang tag” to be attached to their rear view mirror for the duration of their trip to or from Alaska, in order to make it clear that they are heading back to the U.S.

The tag will include a deadline date for when they must be out of the country. Black Press Media has asked for clarification on exactly how long travellers will be allowed to stay.

Earlier in July, Premier John Horgan called on Americans crossing the border to not stop in the province while COVID-19 cases continued to rise north of the 49th parallel.

He told reporters at the time that he had voiced his concerns to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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