Border suspends remote crossings

Press Release

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has closed a path, which allowed small vessels to cross the border in the river. Yesterday, the CBSA announced the temporary suspension of service at certain small vessel reporting sites, small airports of entry, ferry terminals and to the Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) program. These COVID-19 related measures are temporary, and in effect as of May 12, 2020, at 11:59 pm. They will remain in effect until further notice.

The Remote Area Border Crossing (RABC) program facilitates the border clearance process for individuals wishing to cross the border into Canada in the following remote areas:

  • from Pigeon River through to and including Lake of the Woods
  • the Canadian shore of Lake Superior
  • Cockburn Island
  • Emerson
  • Sault Ste. Marie (upper lock system)
  • Northwest Angle Area

The CBSA will proceed with the temporary suspension of service at a total of 342 small vessel reporting sites and 126 small airports. Air and marine traffic will be redirected as appropriate.

The small vessel reporting locations are primarily marinas and telephone reporting sites that support recreational boating. With the high-traffic boating season fast approaching, the CBSA typically observes an increase in the volume of travellers coming to Canada at these sites for recreational purposes, which are currently prohibited.

In support of the Government of Canada’s objective to have all inbound travellers assessed for symptoms of COVID-19, the Agency is redirecting air and marine traffic to ports of entry where the CBSA maintains or can deploy officer presence.

Additionally, a number of ferry operators have decided to suspend services between Canada and the United States. This decision was made independently by each ferry operator.

The Remote Area Border Crossing Program (RABC), which is only available in parts of northwestern Ontario and southeastern Manitoba, has been temporarily suspended. Permit holders cannot use their RABC permit to enter Canada until current Canadian travel restrictions are lifted.

The Government of Canada continues to introduce border measures to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada. All discretionary or optional travel into Canada continues to be prohibited.

The CBSA remains committed to ensuring that Indigenous people continue to be able to move within and between their communities, and are able to provide and access essential goods and services.

This temporary suspension of service will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as the public health situation evolves. It’s noted that travellers are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering upon entry to Canada and while in transit to isolation or quarantine, unless the mask or face covering needs to be removed for security or safety reasons.

Travellers who are granted entry into Canada will be informed of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)’s mandatory 14-day isolation requirement.

This is mandatory for all coming into Canada even if they do not have any symptoms, as they are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others. If they do have symptoms, they will be referred to a health professional.

Travellers will also be required to provide their contact information and place of isolation to help PHAC monitor and enforce compliance with the 14-day isolation requirement.