In an effort to avoid Canada’s mandatory and expensive hotel quarantines, some travellers are flying to U.S. airports then hiring a taxi or limo to take them north across the border.
Federal laws state that anyone arriving by air has to stay in a hotel to quarantine, but anyone crossing by land can quarantine at home.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that he wants to remind all Canadians that now is not the time for any travelling.
“For land borders, as a reminder, anyone who comes to the U.S. land border has already been tested in the U.S. in the last three days, then they have to get tested again. Then everyone has to quarantine for two weeks and get another test on day eight,” he said.
“There is a fundamental difference between someone arriving at a land border and someone arriving at an airport. Someone arriving at our land border has been in the United States, has a PCR test from the U.S. even if they travelled internationally before, because of U.S. quarantine, has been in the U.S. at least two weeks. And therefore, the measures we put in place at the border and we’re following very closely — the numbers and data we collect on these tests have been an extremely low and manageable number of cases.”
B.C.’s Public Safety Minister, Mike Farnworth, has said the province has made it clear to the federal government that when people arrive here, they are following the quarantine procedures.
Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer with an office based in the border town of Blaine, Wash., said people who are crossing back into Canada this way technically aren’t doing anything wrong.
“It’s a loophole and it’s a legal loophole,” Saunders said.
“If a Canadian wants to go through a land port of entry, there’s no quarantine at a hotel and I think many people are taking advantage of it.”
– with files from Jon Azpiri and Aaron McArthur