can americans travel to canada

Canada asks Americans not to use loophole that allows them to travel here

Can Americans enter Canada? Well, technically, yes — it turns out that they can. Through a loophole, U.S. travellers are allowed to pass through the border if they inform officials that they're going to Alaska.

And that could be a major problem, considering that the U.S.-Canada border closed to all non-essential travel in mid-March.

On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was asked to respond to the report that American visitors have been spotted dining out in Banff, disregarding social distancing rules.

Overall, Freeland says that she remains positive about the U.S.-Canada border closure.

"The reciprocal arrangement that we have with our American neighbours is working really well," she said, adding that there is "much, much less travel than at normal times."

However, Freeland acknowledged that there are certain circumstances where Americans and Canadians need to be able to travel through each other's countries as part of their "regular lives."

She gave Campobello as an example, an island off the coast of New Brunswick with about 800 residents. The island's only physical link to North America is a bridge attached to the United States.

Freeland said that Canadian border guards "do a great job" and "ask questions to determine whether these journeys that people are making are for essential travel or not."

Nevertheless, Freeland is asking all Americans to stay south of the border unless they have a good reason to do otherwise.

"These restrictions are there for a reason," she said. "Please do not come to Canada unless you're coming for an essential reason."

Transport Minister Marc Garneau echoed Freeland's words, saying that Canada is "largely satisfied" that Americans travelling through the country are following the rules.

Garneau said that the government does perform spot-checking on Americans that have crossed the border into Canada; however, not every American will receive a follow-up.

"We cannot guarantee 100 per cent that everybody is going to do it," he added. "We are to some extent assuming good faith on the part of people at this point in time."

Lead photo by

Tracy Lee Carroll

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