Trying to sneak into Canada from U.S. during a pandemic? Give your head a shake | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Trying to sneak into Canada from U.S. during a pandemic? Give your head a shake

Canadian border guards are silhouetted as they replace each other at an inspection booth at the Douglas border crossing on the Canada-USA border in Surrey, B.C., August 20, 2009.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
June 15, 2020 - 4:52 PM

Anyone considering sneaking through the U.S. border under false pretenses should “give (their) head a shake,” says B.C.’s health minister.

There have been reports in the last week that U.S. tourists were seen in Canada, making their way across the border under the guise they were en route to Alaska, or using the "Alaska exemption".

The first was June 6, when a Facebook post revealed that a Texas family was spotted on vacation in the tourist town of Banff, Alberta, exploiting a loophole.

A report of American tourists in Golden has also surfaced.

It’s not something that Health Minister Adrian Dix verified or would recommend going forward, when asked about it during the COVID-19 media briefing today, June 15.

“If people were misleading people in order (to cross the U.S./Canada border), there can very likely be consequences for that and I will advise anyone even contemplating such a thing to get their head shake, and not do it,” Dix said.

“It doesn't make sense and they put at risk, in some respects, their ability to visit our country, in the future.”

It’s ultimately a federal government issue and one that Dix doesn’t suspect will happen often.

“If they do so, they perhaps don't fully understand the risks they take in misleading people with that information as they cross the international border,” he said.

The one situation in Golden came to light through social media, though RCMP have reportedly investigated it.

"Today I heard from a friend who posted on her timeline a very disturbing situation happening in Banff and potentially across Canada," Pat Chen wrote in a post that's since gone viral, being shared 24,000 times.

"A server in a newly opened restaurant in Banff went to serve a table of four. She asked them where they came from and was stunned to hear that they were from TEXAS! Up for a vacation."

According to Chen, they are now wandering around Banff, no masks, no distancing, no 14 day quarantine.

"There was also another similar incident same loophole used for another group of visitors from Seattle. Texas has escalating COVID-19 numbers," Chen wrote.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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