‘There are no changes’: Most international travelers still exempt from new COVID hotel quarantine rules

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But even if it’s impractical to force them to quarantine, it would likely make sense to use some of the 38 million rapid COVID tests obtained by the federal government to screen truck drivers and others, he said.

“Why aren’t we doing testing of them every time they cross into Canada?” asked Kwong. “Every time they cross into (Canada, maybe they could get a rapid test. Then they’d know if they are safe to go home to their families.”

'There are no changes': Most international travelers still exempt from new COVID hotel quarantine rules

According to the CBSA, three quarters of the quarantine-exempt travellers entering by land have a “critical role” in the trade and transportation sector. Another 18 per cent of the exempt people at land crossings must cross the border to go to work. And the rest fall under one of the other exemptions.

Those range from members of Canadian and foreign military on official duty, certain health-care workers, people who provide an essential service, some international students and Canadians studying in the U.S. as they return home.

There is even an exemption for residents of the remote communities of Northwest Angle, Minn. and Hyder, Alaska, who have to enter Canada to get essential supplies. People in Campobello Island, N.B., and Stewart, B.C., who need to cross into the U.S. for the same reason are also exempt.

More than 90 per cent of those arriving by air must go into quarantine. Just under one in 10 air travellers qualify for an exemption, largely air crew and others in the trade and transport industries, according to CBSA.

'There are no changes': Most international travelers still exempt from new COVID hotel quarantine rules