People entering Canada via a land border will soon have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement Tuesday (Feb. 9). The negative test will have to be a PCR one that was taken within 72 hours of crossing. The rule will come into effect on Monday, Feb. 15, and match up with current rules on air travel. It is for non-essential travellers.
However, Trudeau said that Canada cannot refuse entry to Canadians or permanent residents trying to enter the country, including the many snowbirds in the U.S. Canada Border Services Agency data shows that 2.9 million people, excluding commercial truck drivers, entered through a land border crossing, while 2.4 million arrived by airplane, since March of last year.
“You can prevent someone from boarding a flight… you can’t prevent someone who’s standing at a land border crossing,” he said.
“In cases of no test to show, apply a stiff penalty, a fine… ensure a rapid and complete follow up.”
He said fine could be up to $3,000 and travellers would undergo further testing and quarantine.
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