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Coronavirus: Alarm was triggered at my U.S. home. Can I cross the border to check on it?

The U.S. port of entry into Blaine, Wash., is seen at a very quiet Douglas-Peace Arch border crossing, amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in Surrey, B.C., on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The United States has agreed to Canada's request to extend the mutual ban on non-essential cross-border travel until June 21.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Checking on a property is not considered essential travel

U.S. restrictions apply to land border only

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Luc owns a property in the U.S. Recently, his home alarm system was triggered and he was notified. Police were also sent to the scene. Luc wants to know if he would be able to cross the U.S.-Canada border under these circumstances.


He probably wouldn’t be allowed to cross the U.S.-Canada land border.

“Checking on a property is not considered essential travel,” Jason Givens, a U.S. Customs and Border Control spokesperson, told NEWS 1130.

But, he said, if Luc feels strongly that he should be allowed to cross the border he can present himself at the border and make his case, with evidence to back it up.

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual border agent to decide whether he gets through.

“Every case is unique and it will be determined at the time of the inspection, taking into account the totality of the traveler’s circumstances,” Givens said.

The border will remain closed to non-essential travel in both directions until at least July 21, but could be extended further.

If Luc really wanted to check on his American property, he would likely be able to enter the country by air.

Canadians flying into the U.S. are not subject to the same restrictions as those entering via a land border. The same is not true for Americans hoping to come to Canada.

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