Gap to avoid new Canadian quarantine regulations
Gary Leff is 20 years old. February 2021.
Canadians are accustomed to crossing the border into the United States in search of cheaper airfare and even traveling to other parts of Canada. Flights from Canada to Mexico and back to Canada were once known to frequent flyers as the Mexican Hutt Dance. And the challenge of high airfares for Canadians may become even greater in the future with the acquisition of Air Canada Transat.
However, Canadians have a new reason for using U.S. airports: a back door that allows them to bypass mandatory quarantine on arrival.
- Canada allows international flights at only four airports: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
- Upon arrival, they must undergo a PCR test and wait at the federal quarantine hotel for the results.
- Three nights, including meals, cost $2,000 Canadian.
However, federal quarantine does not apply to land crossings. Despite the closure of the land border, Canadians were able to cross the border to return home. For example, Canadians spending the winter in the United States in warmer places like Arizona and Florida fly to U.S. cities close to the Canadian border and drive to the border there (or just take a taxi to the border).
This saves them the cost and restrictions of a government quarantine. And it’s not an inconvenience, but an added convenience, because there are only four airports to reach from the United States, while there are over 100 land border crossings (and places where you can legally cross the border without going through a checkpoint).
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