One of the biggest consequences of the ongoing pandemic is the closure of the Canada-U.S. border. This has led to some Americans abusing what is known as the Alaska loophole to enter the country. Canadian border patrol is now working on making that harder.
In a July 30 news release, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) outlined its new, stricter rules for foreign nationals travelling through the country to get to Alaska.
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Starting at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time, visitors who are driving through Canada to reach the remote state will only be allowed through five ports of entry, mostly in British Columbia, with one in Saskatchewan and another in Alberta.
They will be given a reasonable amount of time to make the trip and must use only the most direct route without stopping at any national parks or leisure sites.
They will also have to report to their nearest Canadian point of entry upon reaching the border that they are officially leaving Canada and entering the United States.
These travellers will also be given a hang tag that goes on their rearview mirror. This will indicate that the person is just driving through the country, and will include the date that they have to leave Canada.
The same measures also apply to anyone heading in the opposite direction from Alaska.
#COVID19 / #AlaskaLoophole: @CanBorder announces stricter rules for foreign nationals transiting through #Canada t… https://t.co/kXaSXX3WDm— GC Newsroom (@GC Newsroom)1596125824.0
The CBSA advises people entering Canada for transit to have documentation that proves they are travelling for necessary purposes.
CBSA officers will make the final decision on allowing entry based on the information they are given.
There have been several instances of travellers coming into the country from the U.S. claiming that they are heading to Alaska, only to be spotted elsewhere.
This doesn't just apply to cars. Americans were reportedly entering the waters off of British Columbia on boats which they would then dock at nearby marinas. Many had set Alaska as their final destination.
During a June 15 press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the matter was being investigated by the government.
The CBSA also recently reported that nearly 5,000 Americans have tried to enter Canada for recreational purposes between March and July.