As was reported last week, the Canada/U.S. land border will remain closed to all non-essential travel until at least November 21, 2020. CSA representatives continue to discuss the issue of the border closure with government officials and agencies on both sides of the border. Ultimately, based on these discussions, the current travel restrictions at the land border crossings could possibly extend well into 2021. At this time, the only way in which Canadian citizens are permitted to travel to the United States is by air. As many members are inquiring, the reason that this loophole exists is that the U.S. Government only applied the border restrictions to land and ferry crossings while the Canadian Government applied the restriction to all modes of travel.
In related developments, the Alberta Government, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is in the process of initiating an international border pilot project where eligible international travellers returning to Alberta at select airport and border crossings can quarantine for less time provided they test negative for COVID-19 and they commit to following specific public health and testing measures.
The mandatory quarantine period for returning international travellers will be maintained for now, but the 14-day day self-isolation period could be shortened if a traveller receives a negative COVID-19 test result. This voluntary option would be made available for Canadian citizens returning to the country through Alberta.
This pilot project will not be available to travellers who:
- have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of entry to Canada
- have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
- do not have an acceptable quarantine plan
- returning Canadians proceeding to other provinces (participants must stay in Alberta for 14 days after entering Canada)
- domestic travellers (they are not required to quarantine)
The program, which is scheduled to come into effect on November 2nd, will be available at both the Coutts land border crossing and the Calgary International Airport. Other provincial and territorial governments have stated that they will be monitoring the results of Alberta’s pilot project and may implement similar programs in their jurisdictions.
Further updates will be distributed to members via email and published in CSANews.