Six Americans have been fined a combined $4,500 for failing to adhere to coronavirus rules while travelling through BC.
According to RCMP spokesperson Janelle Shoihet, three adults were fined $500 each under section 15(3) of the Quarantine Act on August 29, when they failed to report at the border as required when transiting from Alaska to Washington.
On Wednesday, Shoihet told Daily Hive the trio was “located in Vancouver by the Vancouver Police and subsequently escorted to the border by RCMP and tuned over to CBSA to ensure they exited Canada.”
Then, on August 31, three individuals were issued violation tickets for $1,000 under section 58 of the Quarantine Act in Fort St. John on August 31, “for failing to quarantine while transiting from the US to Alaska.”
In this case, Shoihet said, the three travellers were “found to have dined in a local area restaurant and not been wearing PPE.” As well, “they had sustained contact with two people after the restaurant who were advised to self isolate for 14-days following the contact.”
The individuals were fined and “allowed to proceed to their destination,” as they were within the allotted time allowed by CBSA, Shoihet said.
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Earlier this summer, the federal government announced it was clamping down on US travellers attempting to visit BC by claiming it to be part of their trip to Alaska.
In July, the CBSA said that “stricter rules and additional entry conditions” would be imposed on travellers transiting through Canada to Alaska for a non-discretionary purpose.”
These measures, the agency said, “are put in place to further reduce the risk of introduction of COVID-19 cases and to minimize the amount of time that in-transit travellers are in Canada.”
Specifically, the CBSA said in-transit foreign nationals must enter Canada at one of the five identified CBSA ports of entry (POE):
- Abbotsford-Huntingdon (British Columbia)
- Coutts (Alberta)
- Kingsgate (British Columbia)
- North Portal (Saskatchewan)
- Osoyoos (British Columbia)
Upon arrival at one of the designated POE, the CBSA said in-transit travellers must satisfy a BSO that they meet the requirements for entry into Canada. “Travellers are encouraged to have documentation that will demonstrate their purpose of travel,” the agency added. “The final decision is made by a BSO, based on the information available to them at the time of entry.”
Travellers who arrive at a non-identified POE for the purpose of transiting to Alaska will be denied entry and advised to go to one of the five identified POEs.
Following admission into Canada, in-transit travellers are provided with a Public Health Agency of Canada handout.
As well, travellers will:
- Be allowed a “reasonable period” of stay to carry out the transit (although the exact amount of time was not specified);
- Be limited to travel within Canada using the “most direct route” from the POE to the intended POE of exit, while avoiding all national parks, leisure sites and tourism activities;
- Be required, before entering the US, to report to the nearest CBSA POE to confirm their exit from Canada.
In-transit travellers will be issued a vehicle “hang tag” to be attached to their rearview mirror for the duration of their trip to or from Alaska to support compliance while they are in Canada.
The CBSA said that no matter the reason for travel, “all foreign nationals who have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada.”
They also noted that providing false information to a BSO may lead to consequences such as being denied entry and/or banned from returning to Canada.