Canadian government increases restrictions on road travel to Alaska

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 4:31 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Starting July 31 restrictions on foreign travelers through Canada to Alaska will tighten, the Canada Border Services Agency announced.

The Government of Canada said it was placing new restrictions on travel in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the country. The new rules place additional requirements on foreigners traveling through Canada for a “non-discretionary purpose” like traveling to a job or a primary residence.

This means travelers can only enter Canada at one of five designated ports of entry. Those entry points are Abbotsford-Huntingdon in British Columbia, Coutts in Alberta, Kingsgate in British Columbia, North Portal in Saskatchewan and Osoyoos in British Columbia.

The government wants to minimize the time a foreigner is traveling through Canada and will give travelers a time period in which they must reach their destination. Foreigners must take the most direct path from their point of entry to their exit point. Travelers are not allowed to visit national parks or tourism sites.

The travelers will be issued a tag that they attach to their rearview mirror to signal that they are travelers and must leave Canada by the printed date. The tag will also include reminders about travel rules and safety measures.

The Canadian government also asks travelers entering the U.S. to report their exit at the nearest designated port.

The increased restrictions will also impact non-Canadian citizens traveling through Canada from Alaska but those entering from Alaska are not required to transit through a designated port. However, the border services officer at the northern border could impose other restrictions.

Travelers should have documentation explaining the reason they are trying to travel through Canada, though the border services officer can make a decision about whether a traveler meets the requirements to enter the country.

While in Canada, travelers are asked to follow Public Health Agency of Canada guidance which asks that they avoid contact with others, remain in the vehicle as much as possible, avoid making unnecessary stops, be socially distant, pay at the pump for gas, use a drive-thru for food and wear face coverings.

The Government of Canada said people with COVID-19 or people who are symptomatic will be barred from entering the country.

The temporary border restrictions between the U.S. and Canada have been in place since March 21 and optional travel is still prohibited.

The government said they could deny entry or ban foreigners who provide false information. The Government of Canada’s Quarantine Act has hefty fines for people who don’t comply with border restrictions. The act also includes imprisonment of up to three years for people who intentionally harm others while transiting through Canada.

For more information visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.

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