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Ottawa, Sep 4 (Canadian-Media): Canadians have been concerned about sightings of U.S. licence plates or international flights landing with more than four million people have entered the country since Canada imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions in late March, media reports said.
Canada US Border. Image credit: Flickr
In Alberta, home of tourist hotspot Banff, RCMP reported that between June 17 and Aug 25, officers received 243 complaints of U.S.-plated cars in the province.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) explained that Americans may have entered the country due to many legitimate reasons.
"It should be noted that simply seeing a U.S.-plated vehicle or boat is not a reason to suspect someone of suspicious cross-border activity," said CBSA spokesperson Mark Stuart in an email.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Canada only allows foreigners to enter for non-discretionary purposes including qualifying international students and workers in industries deemed essential such as health, food services and transport. Only in June, the federal government relaxed its rules to allow foreigners to visit immediate family in Canada. But Canadian citizens, dual citizens and permanent residents can still freely leave and re-enter the country subject to self-isolation for 14 days upon their return.
Since Canada's travel restrictions took effect, the CBSA has reportedly denied entry to more than 16,000 people trying to cross from the U.S. by land or air between March 22 and Aug. 19. nearly half of rejected cases they wanted to enter for recreational reasons, such as sightseeing and shopping.
Canada has been asked by the CBSA to keep its doors open to some foreigners so Canadians still have access to essential goods and services. The majority of people currently entering by land are truck drivers, deemed essential workers.