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Canada The Canada-U.S. border could be closed for months. Here's what you need to know now

11:50  02 august  2020
11:50  02 august  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

Latitudes and attitudes: How COVID-19 is impacting border towns in the West

  Latitudes and attitudes: How COVID-19 is impacting border towns in the West Latitudes and Attitudes is a collaboration between CBC Radio and NPR's Mountain West News Bureau that explores how the closure of the Canada-U.S. border is impacting towns that rely on tourists from the neighbouring country. The Canada-U.S. border crossing south of Fernie, B.C., is quiet these days; there are no buses or vans packed with mountain bikes and vacationing families headed into the neighbouring country for summer fun. The lack ofThe Canada-U.S. border crossing south of Fernie, B.C., is quiet these days; there are no buses or vans packed with mountain bikes and vacationing families headed into the neighbouring country for summer fun.

Here ’ s everything we know so far. For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign You must also provide contact information upon arrival in Canada . This form can be accessed in The Government of Canada now requires temperature screenings for all passengers traveling to Canada

Here ' s what you need to know about current Canada - U . S . border restrictions and how they may impact you . Because of the bilateral agreement to close the Canada - U . S . land border , the only way Canada is now allowing some family members separated by temporary COVID-19 travel

Gone are the days when Canadians and Americans could freely drive across their shared border for a quick shopping trip or to visit family and friends.

Now, the Canada-U.S. land border that was once wide open is closed to non-essential travel, affecting the lives of many people on both sides.

Here's the latest on what you need to know about Canada-U.S. border rules and why our neighbours to the south may not be visiting for a while.

When will the Canada-U.S. border reopen?

It came as no surprise to many people when the federal government announced last month that the Canada-U.S. land border — which closed on March 21 to non-essential traffic — would remain shut until at least Aug. 21.

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With the border closure still in effect and few available flights, the Canada Border Services Agency Personally, I can think of no better place to spend time. But now is not the time to visit," Freeland Cross- border families will still be able to reunite under certain stipulations despite the extension of the

US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have agreed to close the US - Canada border to all non-essential travel in an attempt to curb the "No matter who you are or what you do, this is a time when you should be focused on your health and that of your neighbours.

Canadians can still fly to the U.S., but that rule isn't reciprocal: Canada prohibits U.S. visitors from entering via all modes of transport.

Canada and the U.S. review their border closure agreement every 30 days. Several experts in different fields have told CBC News that they predict the border won't reopen until sometime next year.

The main reason: COVID-19 cases are still surging in several U.S. states.

"It doesn't seem to be getting any better in the U.S.," said U.S. Immigration lawyer Len Saunders, whose office sits close to the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash. He believes the border could stay closed for another six months.

"There's really no reason why the Canadian government, at this point, would want to open it up and subject Canadians to an increased rate of COVID infections."

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The Canada - U . S . border , the longest international border in the world, will close Friday night at 11:59 p.m., the Canadian government announced Friday. The border is closing just before midnight on Friday. This refers basically to non-essential travel such as tourism and recreation. How will this affect

The Canada - U . S . land border is closed to non-essential travel to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The U . S . air travel rule isn't widely known on either side of the border . U . S . immigration lawyer Len Saunders said he only became aware of the details when one of his Canadian clients called him

a man wearing glasses: Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer in Blaine, Wash., predicts the Canada-U.S. border could stay shut for another six months. © Gabriel Osorio/CBC Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer in Blaine, Wash., predicts the Canada-U.S. border could stay shut for another six months.

Many Canadians have also made it clear that they want the border to stay shut for now.

When Leger Marketing asked 1,500 Canadians last month if they thought the Canada-U.S. border should reopen at the end of July, 86 per cent of respondents said they were opposed to the idea.

In early July, 29 members of the U.S. Congress sent a joint letter to U.S. Homeland Security and the Canadian government. In it, they asked that both countries start working on a phased reopening of the border.

One member of Congress posted the letter on Twitter and was bombarded with angry comments from Canadians demanding the border stay shut. Some even suggested that Canada build a wall.

Given public opinion, economist Moshe Lander said it would be "political suicide" for Canadian politicians to contemplate reopening the border right now.

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Trump announces US - Canada border to be closed to nonessential travel. The United States border with Canada will temporarily close to "non-essential traffic" due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Very urgently needed medical supplies and medicines go back and forth across that border ," she said.

The Canada - U . S . border will remain closed for another 30 days. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the deal to extend the closure during his daily news

"As long as Canadians don't feel safe, then why force open that border when there's no strong political logic to doing it?" said Lander, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal.

He predicts a possible border reopening in middle to late 2021 — if there's enough confidence at that point that the virus is under control.

What about separated families?

The federal government recently loosened its travel restrictions to allow Americans to visit immediate family in Canada, including dependent children, spouses and common-law partners.

To qualify as common-law, couples must have lived together for at least one year and prove it with documentation showing a shared address.

Some separated couples who don't meet the criteria have opted to tie the knot.

Lawyer Saunders said that at least two dozen of his clients — who are in cross-border relationships — have expedited their marriage plans so that they can reunite in Canada now.

Canadians can fly to the U.S. to get married, or both partners can travel to the Peace Arch border crossing between B.C. and Washington state.

Ottawa imposes stricter rules for Americans travelling through Canada to Alaska

  Ottawa imposes stricter rules for Americans travelling through Canada to Alaska OTTAWA — The federal government is tightening the rules for non-essential American travellers passing through Canada en route to Alaska, in order to reduce the time spent in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada Border Services Agency says U.S. travellers heading to Alaska will be required to use one of five designated border crossings: four in B.C. and one in Alberta. They must also take the most direct routes possible, avoiding all national parks and tourist activities, and will be issued a tag to hang from their vehicle's rear-view mirror for the duration of their trip to ensure compliance with the rules. Before entering the U.S.

Canada is closing its borders to noncitizens because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that the ban does not apply to U . S . citizens "for the Canada will make some exceptions to the border closure . And the ban does not affect the shipment of goods into the country.

WATCH ABOVE: Canada - U . S . border closing Friday night. The agreement is in place for a month , at which time the U . S . and Canada will review it. “I know our officials on both sides of the border are working very closely to make sure that there is a consistency in the way in which these measures will

That border crossing includes a neutral zone — a shared Canada-U.S. park. The Canadian section of the park is closed. However, Canadians can still enter the U.S. section of the park for the day to visit with their American partner — or even get married.

Saunders said that he has advised many inquiring cross-border couples that they can marry in the park, as long as they obtain a Washington state marriage licence and are wed by a Washington officiant.

"It's totally legal to get married on the American side," Saunders said. "A lot of people are taking advantage of that."

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said that when Canadians return from visiting the U.S. side of the park, they are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. It's not known if people are actually complying.

Crackdown on Americans driving to Alaska

Americans are allowed to drive through Canada to Alaska for essential reasons, such as for work or to return home. However, they're not to make unnecessary stops along the way.

In June, Alberta RCMP issued 10 fines of $1,200 to U.S. residents headed to Alaska who stopped in Banff National Park to see the sights.

On July 10, B.C. RCMP fined an American boat operator $1,000 for entering Canadian waters for a vacation.

"It was clear the persons on this vessel had misstated their intention to travel to Alaska and had entered Canada for the purposes of tourism," said the RCMP in a statement.

To try to curb the problem, the CBSA introduced stricter rules on Friday for Americans driving to Alaska.

They must enter Canada through one of five designated border crossings and hang a CBSA-issued tag from their car's rear view mirror that lays out the purpose and rules of their trip.

Before exiting Canada for Alaska, drivers must check in once again with the CBSA.

Even before the new rules took effect, it appears that Americans were getting the message. Alberta RCMP said no fines were issued to wayward U.S. drivers in July.

"It's heartening," said Alberta RCMP spokesperson Fraser Logan. "It's just important that ... you're following the rules."

WATCH | Why cross-border couples can still meet up at the Peace Arch border crossing:

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends .
FREDERICTON — The COVID-19 pandemic has put cross-border shopping trips and vacations on hold since March, and many American businesses along the border say they miss both the revenue and the familiar Canadian faces. Bill Kilby, manager of Hardwick's Country Store in Calais, Maine, has seen a dramatic 90 per cent loss in revenue and had to lay off 10 employees. "I would buy $1,500 wholesale of milk a week from two different dairies, and now I'mBill Kilby, manager of Hardwick's Country Store in Calais, Maine, has seen a dramatic 90 per cent loss in revenue and had to lay off 10 employees.

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