Canada Cracks Down On Americans Sneaking In: Family Booted, Fined

Canada Cracks Down On Americans Sneaking In: Family Booted, Fined


Canada—which announced efforts in July to crack down on Americans flouting pandemic travel restrictions—caught and fined an American family holidaying in Vancouver when they were supposed to be just passing through from Alaska, Global News reported Saturday.

Highway 99 from Vancouver to Whistler

A view of Highway 99 from Vancouver to Whistler.



According to Canadian Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the family told border officers when they entered British Columbia from Alaska on Aug. 25 they were just cutting through Canada on their way to the other part of the U.S.

Just four days later, they were caught vacationing in Vancouver when a member of Canada’s border control noticed the family car had a hang tag with the date the family was expected to leave the country and called the police, Global News reported.

“They were supposed to go straight to the Peace Arch border crossing, they did not do that,” Farnworth told the outlet.

The family was escorted to the border and has reportedly been fined roughly $1,500 U.S. dollars.

The sort of scheme for Americans to bypass the border restrictions to holiday in Canada apparently happens enough it has been dubbed the “Alaska loophole,” and in July Canadian authorities put additional measures into place to prevent Americans from sneaking in a holiday as they’re in transit between Alaska and the rest of the U.S.

Crucial quote 

“This is not a game, and we have been very clear that Americans have been told that they have to follow these rules,” Global News quoted Farnworth as saying, adding that “it’s unfortunate that you get these individuals who want to ruin it for everyone else and endanger other people.”

Key background

The U.S. and Canada first blocked most nonessential travel through their shared border in March, and have continuously extended the restrictions throughout the pandemic. Since July, Americans are still permitted to go through Canada in transit between Alaska and the rest of the U.S., but can only enter through five border crossings, take the shortest route and are only allowed to stop along the way in Canada for necessities, like to sleep, eat or refill their fuel tank, according to Global News. 


In July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a rare shot at President Donald Trump and the U.S. when he told reporters Canada was “able to control the virus better than many of our allies, particularly including our neighbor,” a thinly-veiled reference to America’s surging coronavirus cases. “Canadians did their part and followed public health instructions,” Trudeau added. On Saturday, Canada had counted 133,433 cases since the beginning of the pandemic compared to the more than 6.2 million infections detected in the U.S. according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

Further reading

American family found abusing ‘Alaska loophole’ kicked out of B.C.: minister (Global News)

Coronavirus: Feds crack down on Americans using ‘Alaska loophole’ to enter Canada (Global News)

Read More



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