Travellers transiting to/from Alaska through Canada will have their cars tagged

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) patch is seen on an officer. The Canada Border Services Agency began imposing stricter rules for travellers transiting through Canada to Alaska on July 31 in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)
As of July 31, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has implemented stricter rules for travellers transiting to or from Alaska through Canada in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Canada U.S. border has been closed to non-essential traffic since March 21, but non-discretionary travel between the Lower 48 and Alaska related to things like work or travel to a primary residence, have been permitted with tight regulations, such as staying on main arteries and designated travel routes, and that public health advice should be followed that travellers stay in their vehicles as much as possible and to minimize contact with locals by paying at the pump for gas and using drive-throughs for food.

But starting Friday, travellers by road will also be required to place hang tags on their rear view mirror to indicate they are transiting. The tags will also include the date they’re required to depart Canada by, as well as a list of the regulations they will be required to respect while transiting, the CBSA said in a news release on Thursday.

Proof of reason for travel advised

Foreign nationals are also required to arrive at one of five authorized Canadian points of entry:  Abbotsford-Huntingdon, Kingsgate or Osoyoos in the province of  (British Columbia), Coutts in the neighbouring province of Alberta or North Portal in Saskatchewan.

CBSA also recommends having proof of the reason for travel when arriving at the border. 

Penalties for violating border restrictions under thQuarantine Act can run up to $750,000 in fines and/or 6 months in jail. If death or serious bodily harm result from violating the regulations penalties run up to $1,000,000 in fines, and/or imprisonment of up to 3 years.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Inuit gov. in Labrador, Canada tells out-of-province travellers to stay away despite ‘Atlantic bubble’, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland joins other Nordic countries in virtual tourism due to pandemic, Yle News

Greenland: Greenland extends COVID-19 entry requirements until July 20, Eye on the Arctic

Iceland:  Iceland reinstates COVID-19 restrictions after spike in domestic infections, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: All Russia’s North Pole cruises rescheduled to 2021, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Sweden seen as major source of COVID-19 in Western Finland region, Yle News

United States: Airline shutdown creates new challenges for rural Alaska, The Associated Press

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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