WHISTLER (NEWS 1130) — We’re not seeing celebrities make their way to B.C. as often during the pandemic — unless they’re shooting a film or T.V. show or have a special exemption.
But it appears American comedian and actress Chelsea Handler has made the trip up to Whistler.
Comedian & actress @chelseahandler appears to be in Whistler. She's posted a video on her Insta story (since deleted) lamenting fact she'll have to quarantine for 14 days while watching people ski. Does she have special exemption? A @NEWS1130 listener has asked us to look into it
— Martin MacMahon (@martinmacmahon) December 21, 2020
On Instagram, she shared a video as part of her story in which she lamented that she was under quarantine for 14 days, and would be watching people ski during that period.
It’s not clear if Handler is here on business, but a NEWS 1130 listener asked us to look into this given his concerns Handler is violating rules prohibiting optional travel to our country during the pandemic.
(Contributed screen record to NEWS 1130)
There is no evidence Handler has violated any laws, but she has deleted videos referencing Whistler and her quarantine period from her Instagram story.
We asked the Canada Border Services Agency for clarity on Handler’s situation.
It says while it can’t comment on Handler’s case, Americans are allowed to make the trip up north if they are following the “Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order.”
The CBSA says people must be asymptomatic for the virus, travel must not be optional or discretionary and they need to quarantine per the Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order.
Below is the official statement from the CBSA sent to NEWS 1130:
While the CBSA won’t comment on any specific case, we can tell you that a foreign national coming into Canada from the U.S., in accordance with Order in Council 2020-1128 (Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Prohibition of Entry into Canada from the United States)), who is not an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, must meet the following conditions to be eligible to enter Canada:
- they must be asymptomatic for COVID-19; and
- their travel must not be optional or discretionary; and
- they must be able to quarantine in accordance with Order in Council 2020-0967 (Minimizing the Risk of Exposure to COVID-19 in Canada Order (Mandatory Isolation), No. 8), if required to do so. This Order is in effect ending January 21, 2021, and can be prolonged as necessary for public health reasons. These exceptions do not apply to anyone who has signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
All persons entering Canada MUST isolate themselves for 14 days if they have symptoms of or confirmed COVID-19 or quarantine themselves for 14 days if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Even when travel is considered as non-discretionary, in order for a traveller to be exempt from mandatory quarantine requirements, they must meet an exception as outlined in section 6 of the Order in Council 2020-0840.
Upon arrival at a Canadian port of entry, travellers must demonstrate to a CBSA border services officer that they meet the requirements for entry into Canada. All persons arriving in Canada will be asked about the purpose of their visit and whether they are feeling ill or unwell. Travellers should have documentation that will provide details on their reason for travel, length of stay, as well as any other information that may be relevant to substantiate why their travel is non-discretionary and/or show how they meet an exception. CBSA officers use the information available to them at the time the traveller is seeking entry into Canada to determine if the travellers is eligible to enter the country, as well as to determine which set of instructions (exempt or required to quarantine) are to be provided to the traveller.
NEWS 1130 has reached out to Handler for comment.