The land border is closed, but the U.S. allows Canadians to fly to the country
After Karel Bennett was turned away at the U.S. land border between B.C. and Washington state last month, she didn’t give up hope of entering the U.S. to see her newborn grandson.
The Canada-U.S. land border is closed to non-essential travel to help stop the spread of COVID-19. However, Bennett had heard rumours she may still be able to fly to the U.S.
She said she was first tipped off by U.S. border officers at the crossing where she was denied entry.
“They said, ‘Have you thought about flying?’ And I said, ‘Well, no,’ and they said, ‘You might want to look at that.'”
Bennett was desperate to visit her daughter, who lives just outside Seattle, because her daughter’s one-month-old son was sick with a respiratory problem. So, Bennett took a chance and booked a flight from Vancouver to Seattle on May 22. This time, she had no problems getting through U.S. customs and entering the country.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Bennett, who lives in Sooke, B.C. “I was so happy.”
Many Canadians are unaware that, even though they’re currently barred from driving to the U.S. for leisure travel, they can still fly to the country.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told CBC News that its travel restrictions apply only to Canadians trying to enter the U.S. at land border crossings, which includes travel by car, train, ferry and pleasure boats.
However, Canadian air passengers can still enter the country as long as they haven’t visited Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, the U.K. or 26 European countries in the Schengen Area 14 days prior.