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Sheila wants to know if she can walk across the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada with a negative COVID-test result and take a taxi to her approved quarantine home.
Len Saunders, an immigration lawyer based in Blaine, Washington, says technically yes, you can.
“Any Canadian can walk north, not over 0 Avenue but actually through the proper port of entry, Peach Arch or Douglas crossing, with a negative test, and rather than having to do the three-day hotel quarantine, you can take a cab, go directly to your quarantine location, and have no problems,” he says.
Saunders says it’s something he sees all the time, with Canadians, especially snow birds, worried about spending thousands of dollars for a hotel quarantine.
“I know the Bellingham airport has definitely seen an increase of Canadian travellers flying in from other states, and then taking an Uber or a cab,” explains Saunders. “I, myself, have actually picked up quite a few clients at Bellingham airport, dropped them off at Peace Arch Park, pointed north, and told them where to walk through the Canadian border office.”
He says it’s definitely a loophole, and something the Canadian government has turned a blind eye to.
“I can imagine, the flights coming in from the US are probably full, but the flights going north to Canada from the U.S., there’s probably nobody on those flights because most people realize that they can just walk over and not have to do the hotel quarantine.”
The Canada-U.S. land border remains closed to all non-essential traffic, and Canadians are being reminded to avoid any non-necessary trips.