Nearly 5,000 US citizens attempted to enter Canada for shopping and entertainment despite COVID-19: CBSA

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OTTAWA – According to new data from the Canada Border Services Agency, more than 10,000 US citizens were turned back to the Canadian border during the pandemic – and almost half of them hoped to enter Canada for shopping , go sightseeing or just for leisure. According to new figures sent to CTVNews.ca by the CBSA, 10,329 American citizens were turned back from our shared border between March 22 and July 12. Over a quarter of them were denied entry after revealing that they were coming to Canada to visit the city. despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While half of US citizens were turned back for “other” reasons, which the CBSA did not develop, just over 2,700 citizens had to turn around when they said they hoped to cross the border for “tourism” or “tourism”. More than 1,200 were rejected after revealing that their trip was recreational.

More than 500 Americans have been sent home after announcing they were coming to Canada for shopping, despite physical distance measures that prevented Canadians themselves from going to their own retail stores.

Canada closed its borders to foreigners in mid-March, initially exempting US residents from the new rules. But within days, the Canada-US border was also closed to all non-essential travel, an agreement sources said to CTV News on Tuesday would be extended until August 21.

The current agreement provides exemptions for the flow of trade and commerce, as well as for temporary foreign workers and vital health workers such as nurses who live and work on both sides of the border. However, tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited.

It was not only the Americans who were turned away.

From March 22 to July 12, more than 800 non-US foreign nationals were turned back at various ports of entry because they hoped to shop in Canada. Over 500 were refused because their visit to Canada was for tourism, tourism or recreation.

“Everyone arriving in Canada at an air, land, sea or rail border will be asked about the purpose of their visit and whether they feel sick or sick,” said CBSA spokesperson Rebecca Purdy in a press release sent by email to CTVNews.ca.

However, despite these efforts, some American citizens crossed the border and were fined in Canada after failing to comply with public health rules. A Florida couple received provincial offense notices, and each was fined $ 1,000 after entering Canada at Fort Erie to attend a seasonal property on July 3. The two did not comply with the 14-day period of self-isolation after entering the country.

Another American couple, who entered Canada on June 24 near Thunder Bay, Ontario, were also fined for violating quarantine rules. They were spotted several times in an Ontario city, although they were told to isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

While there is an exemption allowing Americans to travel across Canada to reach Alaska, some American citizens have been caught using this loophole to break Canadian rules. The Alberta RCMP issued six tickets to American travelers who decided to stop near Lake Louise for long hikes in the park in mid-June.

According to the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, most travelers arriving in Canada have agreed to abide by the rules. However, he had a message at his press conference on Tuesday for those considering breaking COVID-19 precautions.

“If you are from outside Canada, please understand all the efforts that Canadians have made inside Canada to flatten the curve and to make sure the transmission of the virus is as low as possible,” said Njoo .

“Please do your part. ”

With files from Mahima Singh of CTV News

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