As COVID restrictions loosen, the question being asked by some in Princeton is: What’s with all the American license plates?
Town hall and local politicians have received complaints about American cars in town.
Mayor Spencer Coyne said while he understands people’s concern, he has no jurisdiction to kick people out of the community.
“People really need to call the RCMP,” said Coyne.
And they are doing that, according to Princeton detachment commander Rob Hughes.
However, Hughes cautioned that Americans might have legitimate and legal reasons to be in Canada, despite a mostly-closed border.
“It’s not as black and white as people think.”
For example, he said, someone driving a vehicle with U.S. plates could posses dual citizenship, could be an essential worker such as a medical professional or a pilot, or may be transporting essential goods.
The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to discretionary travel since mid-March, an order that has already been renewed three times and is set to expire August 21.
Recently, the so-called ‘Alaska loophole’ has come into play, with some Americans claiming they are travelling from their home state to Alaska, and then staying in B.C. or Alberta.
Hughes said police should be made aware of someone travelling with a U.S. plate that appears to be staying longer than one night at a campground or resort.
He added, however, that U.S. travellers are allowed to stop “for food, fuel, and rest…You can’t expect someone to drive from Osoyoos B.C. to Alaska in one go.”
Police can, and in some places have, issued tickets to travellers under the Contraventions Act, of between $275 and $1,000.
And violations under the Quarantine Act could result in fines of up to $750,000 and six months in jail.
All persons entering Canada who test positive for COVID-19 or who have symptoms of COVID-19, no matter their country of origin or mode of entry, must isolate themselves for 14 days. Persons without symptoms of COVID-19 must quarantine themselves for 14 days.
Anyone arriving in Canada in any mode (air, land or marine) must provide their contact information to a border services officer when seeking entry. This information is collected on behalf of Public Health Agency of Canada to support the compliance to, and enforcement of, the 14-day quarantine or isolation requirement, according to a press release from the Canada Border Services Agency.
Princeton RCMP track down border crosser under Quarantine Act
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