Canada ends US travel exemption for BC residents in need of essential supplies after flood

Canada is ending a temporary exemption to COVID-19 entry and exit requirements extended to British Columbians in need of essential supplies after last year’s floods.

Beginning Jan. 31, residents who want to travel to the US by land to pick up goods will be required to fulfill all of Canada’s pre-entry, arrival, testing and quarantine rules.

The exemption was first announced on Nov. 21, 2021, as critical infrastructure damage from flooding and landslides hampered the flow of goods and services, including food and gas.

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Ottawa clarifies COVID-19 travel exemption on BC-US border during floods

At the time, the federal government said fully-vaccinated British Columbians in flood-impacted areas could cross the US border by land to obtain essential supplies without a negative COVID-19 test, provided their travel did not exceed 24 hours.

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The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) was instructed to waive travel requirements and allow them to pass on a case-by-case basis.


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At the end of this month, BC travelers to the US will be required to take a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test in the US before arriving in Canada, regardless of how long they were away.

That test must be performed within 72 hours of arrival at the Canadian land border. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted.

All travelers must continue to submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN. Quarantine is not required for fully-vaccinated travelers returning to Canada from the US if they are not symptomatic and have tested negative for the virus.

The federal government is still urging Canadians to travel for essential reasons only.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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