Since the government enacted strict travel restrictions, more than 18,000 people, many of whom were trying to enter Canada from America for sightseeing and shopping, have been turned away. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) turned back 18,431 foreign nationals using boat, land, and air from the U.S. between Mar. 22 and Sept. 2.
Around 5,300 were turned back for tourism or sightseeing, representing the largest single reason these attempted travelers.
Another 2,000 were traveling for “recreation,” while about 1,000 were trying to cross to Canada for “non-essential shopping.” Most of the people trying to cross into Canada were Americans, at 87%. The remaining 13% were citizens from other nations. Besides, people who succeed in crossing the border could face extra costs.
For example, an American family of five established that a trip across the border cost them an extra $2,000. According to pandemic regulations, the family was allowed to cross into the country from Alaska and was supposed to take the most direct route south into the U.S. The officials let them know they’d broken the rules and handed them the huge fine when they were found on vacation in Vancouver. Also, fines can be imposed on those crossing into Canadian waters. After an American boater was found near Vancouver Island this week, he was also penalized and sent back to the U.S. The RCMP recorded more than 9,500 violations of COVID-19 regulations in the first four months of the pandemic.
Between Mar. 22 and Sept. 2, four hundred forty-eight air travelers arriving from other countries were also denied entry into the country, “As they did not meet the respective standards of entry,” according to the CBSA data. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the border closure has been renewed or extended five times. Of late, restrictions on recreational travel through the border have been extended until at least Sept. 21. Though, the closure still permits for essential trade and commerce, seasonal migrant workers, and health-care workers.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said in August that every month when they evaluate that situation again, they would take into account what’s going on both sides of the border. She added that they have to look at different options of the way they can increase safety in international travel as they look at further planning out. An exception announced in June permitted cross-border families to reunite, and any foreign national aiming to enter Canada to see a family member must prove they will be in Canada for a minimum of 15 days.