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Canada is working to crack down on what is being referred to as the “Alaska loophole” by implementing new restrictions against Americans, according to CTV News.
Since the closure of the Canada-U.S. border to all non-essential traffic on March 21, Americans have been crossing the border to make their way to Alaska for essential reasons such as returning home or working.
Because Americans have the option to say they are travelling to Alaska, some appear to have taken advantage by vacationing in Canada instead of passing through the country.
On Thursday, the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) said that new restrictions will be imposed on people entering Canada from the U.S. mainland with intentions of travelling to Alaska.
The restrictions will start being enforced on Friday and foreigners passing through Canada to get to Alaska will have to enter the country at one of the five border crossings that have been approved. The crossings include: Osoyoos, Kingsgate or Abbotsford-Huntington in B.C., Coutts in Alberta, and North Portal in Saskatchewan.
Six tourists received tickets in June for hiking in Lake Louise, Alta. and other American tourists are facing six more fines for violating B.C.’s Quarantine Act. No tickets have been issued since the Lake Louise incident, according to an RCMP spokesperson.
The CBSA added that people making their way through Canada will only be able to stay for a “reasonable period” of time. They must also take a direct route and before entering Alaska they will be required to report to Canadian border officers. Travellers will also be restricted from visiting tourism sites, getting food in any way other than from a drive-thru, and they must pay for gas at the pump and in no other way.
Visitors vehicles will also be provided with “hang-tags” that can be attached to rear-view mirrors for easy identification. There will be a date on the tag to show when the travellers must leave the country.
The CBSA has said that if people give false information at the border, they can be banned from coming back to Canada. Also, violations of the Quarantine Act can result as much as $750,000 in fines and as much as six months in jail.