Thousands of Americans hoping to shop, sightsee in Canada turned away at border

Nearly 5,000 Americans tourists hoping to shop and sightsee in Canada were turned away at the Canadian border over four months, according to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) figures obtained by CTV.

Between March 22 and July 12, a total of 10,000 Americans were turned away from the Canadian border per border restrictions put in place by both countries, which bar unnecessary travel during the coronavirus pandemic. Five thousand were turned away for shopping and sightseeing, and the other 5,000 were turned away for unspecified reasons.

“All persons arriving in Canada at an air, land, marine or rail border will be asked about the purpose of their visit and whether they are feeling ill or unwell," CBSA spokesperson Rebecca Purdy told CTV in a statement. 


Canada and Mexico have renewed border restrictions in 30-day intervals since March, with the latest measures in place until July 21. An administration official confirmed to Politico this week that “It’s an almost certainty” that they will be in place for another month. 

According to the agency, they have issued fines to Americans who have violated the restrictions, including one Florida couple who visited a day before July 4 and didn’t follow quarantine measures. 

There is a loophole in the restrictions that allow Americans to drive through Canada to get to Alaska, though some people have reportedly been caught overstaying in Canada while doing so. 

"If you are coming from outside of Canada, please understand all of the efforts that Canadians have done inside of Canada to flatten the curve and to make sure that the transmission of the virus is as low as possible,"  Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo told CTV.