OTTAWA — Canadian and American border agents are not seeing the same trends in the wake of the closure that has stopped all non-essential travel between the two countries since March 21 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 2,100 people were turned away attempting to enter America at land border between March and June, according to numbers provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Canadian border agents, meanwhile, have been a bit busier turning away Americans travellers.
According to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), more than 6,000 travellers were denied entry into Canada at land, rail, and marine ports between March 22 and July 22.
Eighty-nine per cent of those travellers were Americans who wanted to enter Canada for tourism/sightseeing, recreation, and non-essential shopping reasons, the CBSA said.
Watch: Njoo says vast COVID-19 disparity a problem for Canada-U.S. travel. Story continues below video.
Before the border lockdown, Statistics Canada shows nearly three-quarters of the trips Canadians made to the U.S. were by car.
The number of car trips Americans made into Canada dropped 96 per cent in June compared to the same time last year. Similarly, StatCan reports the number of return trips made to the U.S by Canadians is down 94 per cent due to new border rules.
Current measures are set to expire Aug. 31, pending a new agreement between the two countries to extend the closure to limit potential cross-border coronavirus transmissions.
But the new rules have prompted some travellers to get creative to bypass border guards.
The CBSA announced new rules this week to crack down on Americans who’ve been able to cross into Canada using the so-called “Alaska loophole.”
It comes after reports of American tourists dining in Banff, Alta. in June, despite the closed border to non-essential travellers. Mounties have also fined Americans hiking near Lake Louise for violating the Public Health Act this summer.
Under the new rules, American...