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B.C. border town residents can go to U.S. for essential supplies, return without PCR test

Essential reasons include necessary gas, food, not vacations, minister says
A sign noting a limit of 30 litres of gas for non-essential vehicles is shown at a gas station in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair announced Sunday (Nov. 21) that British Columbians from border communities can go to the U.S. for essential reasons and return without a PCR test.

Blair said that essential reasons include gas and food, due to gas rationing implemented by the B.C. government. Some gas stations have seen lineups around the block while others have run out, leading the province to implement a limit of 30 litres per visit.

“It does apply to people who are required to travel over into the United States in order to obtain essential access to essential goods and services,” Blair said. “But it does not include family trips, vacations, or other types of tourist activity.”

Some highways in B.C., such as the Coquihalla and Hwy. 8, remain shut due to landslides and washouts while others such as sections of Hwy. 1, 3, 7 and 99 remain open to essential traffic only.

Blair said that the Canada Border Services Agency has been working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection but that British Columbians going down south for essential reasons will still require a passport or other travel documents.

He said that visiting family, checking on U.S. properties or a vacation are not essential reasons.

READ MORE: Travellers stuck from returning home can cross U.S. border without PCR COVID test


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