The pandemic brought with it a whole new set of rules, laws, and fines. Most recently, Americans are getting slapped with fines for being caught in Canada. On Sunday, June 21, Alberta RCMP announced that seven Americans in Banff got hefty fines for breaking border rules.
According to CBC News, the RCMP caught the rule-breakers after locals spotted their license plates and complained to the authorities.
RCMP officer Deanna Fontaine told CBC that six of the seven Americans had stopped in town to go hiking. The fines were $1,200 each.
The nature of the seventh fine has not been disclosed by the RCMP.
According to an email sent to Narcity by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) representative Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr, Alaskans returning home can cross the Canada-U.S. border.
However, they're told by officials at the border to make very few stops through their drive, and even if they stop, they need to follow social distancing rules.
They're advised to get food at drive-thrus and purchase gas at pumps only.
Under the current restrictions, Americans travelling to Canada for non-essential reasons, such as tourism, entertainment, and recreation, are supposed to get turned away at the border.
But Fontaine told CBC that it's up to each individual border officer to determine whether the American in question should get fined for their entry or not.
On June 6, a report emerged that a Texas family had told the border officials that they were driving back home to Alaska. But instead, they were caught vacationing in Banff.
A group from Seattle was said to have used the same "Alaska loophole" to gain entry into the country.
CBSA spokesperson Jacqueline Callin told CTV News that lying to border officials could lead to fines up to $750,000 or even six months in prison. Americans could actually also be banned from coming into Canada for this type of offence.
The outlet reported that if someone's visit to Canada causes death or serious "bodily harm" to another person, then they could face fines up to $1 million and get three-year sentences for their actions.
RCMP also told CTV that they didn't receive a high number of complaints from locals over Americans in Banff but they're actively monitoring the situation.