Some COVID-19 border rules will be lifted to help Canadians stranded by flooding in British Columbia get home.
The Canada Border Services Agency has confirmed to CTV News that those who cannot access the rest of the country via the currently closed highways without an estimated reopening time will be able to bypass some of the steps typically required to re-enter Canada after crossing the US border. .
Specifically, they are exempt from pre-arrival COVID-19 testing, testing in Canada, and quarantine requirements.
A spokesperson said exemptions for people arriving by land in Canada who had to enter the United States due to geographic constraints were already built into travel orders. These exemptions now apply to those affected by the storm in British Columbia.
“Many factors come into play when a CBSA border services officer determines what instructions are provided to a traveler regarding their public health obligations,” a spokesperson said in an email.
“CBSA officers use all the information they have when a traveler seeks entry into Canada to determine which set of instructions apply to the traveler.«
Two days of relentless rain brought down rivers of mud and rock on major highways in British Columbia, blocking routes into and out of British Columbia
The closures mean there is no way to drive out of the Lower Mainland, the most populous area in the province, without crossing the border with the United States
British Columbia officials said Tuesday opening roads across the province was their top priority, but it’s unclear how long that will take as the damage is extensive.