Canada’s COVID-19 Border Closure is Being Violated By Americans

Alex Camerino |
Border crossing to hike
Banff National Park has stunning views from its peaks, but Americans will have to wait because of COVID-19. Photo: BNP

Americans are violating Canada’s COVID-19 border closure to go hiking. These Americans are trying to exploit the “Alaska Loophole” in Canada’s COVID-19 border restrictions. This loophole was intentional to allow Alaskan residents to return home from the lower 48. The only problem with the loophole is that some Americans are abusing it so they can go for a hike.

The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) says the intentions of the “Alaska Loophole” is that healthy non-symptomatic people can return to their homes in Alaska. While those people travel through Canada they are expected to make as few stops as necessary. So far, however, at least 7 people in Alberta have violated this law. Some have been ticketed and ordered to pay up to $882 as a penalty under the Quarantine Act.

Border Map
Banff National Park is located in western Alberta. The shortest route from Washington to Alaska is through western British Columbia, not Banff National Park. Photo: Powderhounds

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) says that six out of the seven people they ticketed were at trailheads around Lake Louise. They are also reminding Americans that there is no reason for them to be in the Banff area as it is not on the shortest route from the lower 48 to Alaska.

To the west, British Columbia is experiencing similar issues with non-compliant Americans. The RCMP has said they are not looking to get people in trouble, but want travelers to respect the ordinance to keep their citizens safe. While recreating in the outdoors is safer than most activities at the moment you still need to stick close to home.

Banff National Park. Photo: BNP

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