Canada extends restrictions on U.S. travellers until January 21

Shelby Thevenot
Published: December 21, 2020

The Canada-U.S. border will be closed to non-essential travel for another 30 days.

U.S. travellers coming to Canada will be subject to the renewed travel restrictions until January 21, according to the new Order in Council. U.S. restrictions are now valid up until the same date as Canada's travel restrictions on travellers from all other foreign countries.

This is now the ninth time that Canada has extended restrictions on travellers coming from the U.S. Restrictions on travel for tourism, recreation and leisure first went into effect on March 21, making it the longest border closure in the history of the two countries.

Although Canadians can fly to certain U.S. destinations, travellers from the U.S. must be exempt from travel restrictions or coming to Canada for an essential reason in order to cross the border.

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Exempt travellers from the U.S. include Canadian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members, approved permanent residents, and work permit holders among others. Travellers to Canada must now use the ArriveCAN app to send their information to Canadian border services officers, and learn how to comply with coronavirus measures at the border.

Most U.S. travellers who are allowed to come to Canada must also quarantine for 14 days or be subject to fines. Certain ports of entry in Alberta allow travellers to be released from quarantine early if they agree to a coronavirus test.

U.S. travellers going to Alaska have special instructions. They may only enter at one of the following five ports of entry: Abbotsford-Huntington, Coutts, Kingsgate, North Portal, or Osoyoos.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 will be denied entry at the border.

Travel between the two countries is down 78 per cent for those travelling by land, and 90 per cent for those travelling by air, according to the Canadian border's weekly traveller statistics. These data cover the year-over-year traveller volume between December 7 and December 13.

Truck drivers have been allowed to cross the border without the need to quarantine. This is an effort to keep the supply chain moving between Canada and the U.S., as the trade of goods is important to both countries. Commercial travel between the two countries was down 0.43 per cent compared to the same week in 2019.

The reopening of the border will be determined by a task force of Canadian and U.S. politicians, Forbes reports. The panel is expected to deliver recommendations in March, 2021.

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