US boaters fined heavily for breaking quarantine law amid COVID-19

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The operators of two U.S. boats have been fined for breaking quarantine law amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The law requires people entering the country to be quarantined for 14 days and prohibits all non-essential entry into Canada, including Canadian waters.

According to the BC RCMP, an incident occurred on July 10 resulting in a fine of $ 1,000.

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“It was clear that those on board this ship had misstated their intention to go to Alaska and entered Canada for tourism,” RCMP said in a press release.

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“Recreational boaters are not permitted in Canadian territorial or bordering waters for discretionary, recreational (non-essential) reasons, including excursions, sightseeing, and recreational fishing.”

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The other incident happened on July 17 and involved a whale watching boat. RCMP say the operator was fined for the same offense as the other boat and was returned to US waters along with his passengers.

Mounties are warning U.S. boaters that the quarantine could lead to heavy penalties, including the seizure of their ships, criminal charges and future exclusion from Canadian waters or other border restrictions.

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British Columbia Premier John Horgan has previously raised concerns about Americans using the “Alaska Rift” to enter British Columbia.

Travelers to Alaska are permitted to enter Canada but must proceed directly to their destination.

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However, provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry strongly warned people not to judge drivers of vehicles with US license plates.

Vehicles with U.S. license plates may be owned by residents of Canada, persons performing essential work, or persons with Canadian family members.

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