Wed. May 25th, 2022

Motorists buy fuel at a gas station in Kamloops, BC, Friday, November 19, 2021.Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

Residents of British Columbia can cross into the United States to purchase fuel and other important supplies without having to present a negative COVID-19 test to re-enter Canada.

Mike Farnworth, BC’s Secretary of Public Safety, said on Saturday that he had asked Bill Blair, the federal emergency minister, to speed up the move to waive tests from Nov. 30 for Canadians visiting the United States in less than 72 hours.

Ottawa will not make a formal change to this deadline, but the government has now made it clear that exemptions built into current travel restrictions allow for cross-border travel if the purpose is to purchase necessities such as fuel, food or medicine.

Catastrophic floods in BC have cut off fuel shipments to parts of the province, and some food supplies are lacking. The BC government has introduced a 30-liter limit for fuel purchases for non-essential vehicles, as well as introduced temporary price controls for fuel.

In a tweet sent this afternoon, the Canada Border Services Agency confirmed that Ottawa will not place test or quarantine restrictions on cross-border shopping trips for essential items.

“Given the situation in BC, travelers and significant workers traveling to or through the United States for significant reasons (food, fuel, supply chains) are exempt from test and quarantine requirements. These exceptions do not apply to unnecessary travel.”

Mr. Blair will hold a press briefing this afternoon with Defense Secretary Anita Anand.

More on the way

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