Alaska Life Hack: How to navigate Canada's rigorous new entry requirement - Must Read Alaska
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Alaska Life Hack: How to navigate Canada’s rigorous new entry requirement

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Let’s say you want to drive to Haines or Skagway from Anchorage next week. On Monday, the Canadian border is opening up for those wishing to drive, fly, or arrive by water into Canada. But it’s complicated, so if you are not in that special “essential worker” category, it’s best to know before you go.

All travelers must log into the ArriveCan mobile app or online portal and submit their information 72 hours before arriving at the border.

ArriveCAN is available to download as a mobile app or you can create an account and sign in online.

Whether you’re entering Canada by air, land or boat, you will need to submit:

  • contact information for you and other people travelling with you, as long as you’re staying at the same quarantine location
  • the purpose of your travel (such as exempt travel, work, study, family reunification or compassionate reasons)
  • travel details, such as your:
    • date of arrival
    • port of entry if you’re entering by land or marine vessel or
    • flight number, airport and airline if you’re entering by air
  • your vaccination information, and upload proof of vaccination if asked (unless entering by marine)
  • the trip reference code for your 3-night reservation at a government-authorized hotel (for air travellers only, unless exempt)
  • information about the countries you stayed in or visited in the 14 days prior to your arrival in Canada (don’t include countries where you had a connection stop along the journey from one destination to another).
  • your quarantine plan if your travel isn’t exempt from quarantine requirements

For your quarantine plan, questions include:

  • whether you have accommodation where you can quarantine for 14 days or possibly longer
  • the address of your final quarantine location (the place where you’ll finish your 14-day quarantine)
  • whether you can avoid all contact with other people who didn’t travel with you while in your place of quarantine
  • whether you’ll have access to basic necessities of life, including water, food, medication and heat, without leaving quarantine
  • if there are people at increased risk from COVID-19 at that place who:
    • are 65 years or older
    • have underlying medical conditions
    • have compromised immune systems
  • if there are any people at that place who work or assist in a facility, home or workplace that includes people at increased risk from COVID-19
  • whether it’s a group living environment or houses multiple families, such as:
    • group residence
    • care facilities
    • living with roommates you can’t avoid who didn’t travel with you

If you do not travel with a smartphone, submit your information within 72 hours before your arrival to Canada by creating an account and signing in online. Have your receipt and take it with you when you travel.

If you are unable to access data on your phone when traveling, submit your information before you leave and take a screenshot or printout of your ArriveCAN receipt to show upon entry into Canada.

If you don’t submit your information through ArriveCAN, you won’t be denied boarding if arriving by air or entry into Canada at a land border

However, you won’t be eligible for the fully vaccinated exemption and may face additional delays at the border for public health questioning.

If you’re traveling with others, you can include multiple travelers in your ArriveCAN submission.

As the primary traveler, you may provide travel information for yourself and for:

  • your spouse or common law partner
  • your children (or children for whom you have legal guardianship), aged 18 years or younger
  • any other adult for whom you’re a legal guardian

You can provide information for up to 8 travellers, including yourself, in a single submission. Use this when:

  • you’ll all stay together at the same address for the entire quarantine or isolation period (including the government-authorized hotel) and
  • you have their permission to collect and share this information

If you’re travelling with a child whose only documentation is a birth certificate, you don’t need to submit their information in ArriveCAN. You’ll be provided with an alternative option at the Canadian border.

Exempt travelers must complete their own submission. They can’t be part of a group submission.

If you’re not the traveler, you can submit travel information on behalf of others who may be unable to use ArriveCAN.

You’ll need to fill out ArriveCAN with the traveler’s:

  • quarantine address or plan information
  • contact and travel information

You’ll then be able to print or email the receipt to the traveler.

The traveler can complete their post-border reporting by calling 1-833-641-0343 each day during their 14-day quarantine. The information they provide when they call must match what you submitted in ArriveCAN on their behalf.

You must send the receipt to the traveler to show to the Canada border services officer upon arrival to Canada. The traveler is responsible for ensuring they’re compliant with the requirements for entry into Canada.

You may be exempt from having to quarantine if you’re entering Canada under certain conditions. This includes if you provide essential services and maintain the flow of essential goods or people. Truckers and government workers are exempt.

If you’re exempt from quarantine, you don’t have to include a quarantine plan through ArriveCAN. However, you must still submit your contact information, travel details, and symptoms you may be experiencing. You don’t need to complete any reporting through ArriveCAN after you enter Canada.

Find out if your travel is exempt.

ArriveCAN won’t confirm your exempt status. An ArriveCAN receipt shows that you’ve successfully provided your information. It doesn’t validate your eligibility to enter Canada or exempt travel status. Your exempt travel status will be determined at the border.

Getting your ArriveCAN receipt

Once you submit your information through ArriveCAN:

  • a receipt will be displayed and emailed to you
  • show the receipt to a Canadian border services officer when you enter
  • you can show your ArriveCAN receipt from:
    • the app
    • a screenshot
    • your email
    • a printout

The ArriveCAN mobile app saves your contact information (name, date of birth and travel document information) for travel at a later date.

The day after you arrive in Canada, all travellers, whether you travel by air, land or marine, must use ArriveCAN to:

  • confirm that you’ve arrived at a government-authorized hotel and/or the address you provided for your quarantine or isolation location
  • complete daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessments until the completion of your quarantine period or until you report symptoms

Government of Canada officials will call you to ensure that you’re complying with your mandatory quarantine or isolation. You must answer calls from 1-888-336-7735 and answer all questions truthfully to demonstrate your compliance with the law. You may also receive a visit from a designated screening officer to confirm your compliance with the quarantine or isolation order.

If you’re directed to a designated quarantine facility, you won’t have to report through ArriveCAN. However, you’ll be subject to reporting requirements at the facility.

If you’re exempt from having to quarantine, you don’t have to report after you’ve entered.

And in addition to all of that, don’t forget to bring your passport.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I guess I won’t go to Canada until they change governments.

  • I guess that Canada really does not want my money. Hope their small businesses are doing well! I expect that by the time sense returns all that will remain are the Walmarts (where I will not shop) and other megacompany stores. Shame.

  • So, there’s no “political exemption” for escaping a repressive Anchorage Arsembly then. #bloodyheathencanadiansshouldtalktojoeandcruella

    • LMAO! I think we’re trapped here because I will not fly on the communistic power-tripping maskhole airlines nor will I comply with any of Canada’s crap.

      • We used to travel freely anywhere. It is becoming very difficult to travel, and often its far worse at most places when you arrive. All in name of health protection.
        Contrast all the regulations for us while millions of immigrants, many ill with SARS-2, with no documents travel freely all over the country.

      • In Canada we call it a “Bad Alaskatude”

  • There is a continuity of government arena especially in English speaking countries. We share early declared and recognized rights which we have never rescinded. They are: The Asiz of Clarendon, The great Charter of the English speaking world, The Magna Carta, English Common Law in in the Charter of Jamestown of 1606. These are not pronouncements but inclusions of recognized by Parliament and the Crown rights of all English speakers in the world including the right to travel the King’s highway at anytime or place we wished. We have not renounced those rights regardless of recent detours. America established American Common Law and treaties which it appears the Canadians are not including. This is a problem of great importance. Our Commander in Chief will hopefully sort these items out.

    • The recent arrivals from the far east are not signatories and typically third parties have nothing to say about contracts between other national treaty signers. If I have a contract for fence painting with neighbor A, neighbor Z may not interfere due to no standing or jurisdiction.

  • The recent arrivals from the far east are not signatories and typically third parties have nothing to say about contracts between other national treaty signers. If I have a contract for fence painting with neighbor A, neighbor Z may not interfere due to no standing or jurisdiction. We invested in Alaska in reliance upon the treaties in perpetuity. We are economically damaged. We do not travel whimsically but for personal need: be it for medical care, education, other investments which we may be seeking. We do not go to play in Canada. There are lovely places in the great state of Alaska to see. They have interfered in an unacceptable way and we are Americans with rights to travel the King’s highway. We have welcomed and enjoyed economic interactions for decades. What a shame that the Canadians have ended this forever because of a dead virus which no scientist has heretofore been able to replicate to prove its existence.

  • It is easier to get into China.

  • Why bother?

  • Wow, kinda like hunting REGS in Alaska.

  • That’s a lot of hostile bs for a mild flu..

    Canada isn’t a real country anyways 😉

  • Screw Canada!

  • Sure miss all that Canada offers.
    Like….

  • Canada used to be such a nice place. I won’t go there anymore; sad, pathetic really.

  • Interestingly this reminds me of the spruce bark beetle dilemma. We cut down our infected trees & wondered about keeping some for for firewood because you don’t want to spread the critters. The tree cutter said….look around you. What do you see? Spruce Bark infected trees everywhere. He asked do you really think it makes any difference one way or the other? The honest answer was no. We just kept the firewood. Covid, especially this new varient, seems kind of like that.

  • Lets cancel that little 500 million rail thingy that trump signed up for. this was not part of that plan.

  • Absolutely insane, but I’ve come to expect nothing less from the Canadian government.

  • This is when Alaska’s ferries could come into playing the competition for travel so Canada can lose money if AMHS corrected its financial problems long before 2007.
    If I had the choice to drive into Southeast Alaska, I’d rather pay the Ferry cost Than deal with All that paperwork to travel through Canada. Then! They can just lose out on money, since they are being communistic, when you can’t travel without presenting papers.

  • I’m not going to or through Canada anytime soon. But why can’t we do something like this at our southern border? Kill the invasion with red tape and bureaucrats… Nah, the Wall costs less and is friendlier!

  • Is a person driving from Alaska through Canada to Washington state, with no planned stops other than to purchase fuel and use the restroom facilities, required to remain in quarantine at a government-authorized hotel near the point of entry for two weeks before continuing on to the states? I do not want to do any sightseeing or waste any time enroute, but I also don’t want to hang around an authorized hotel for two weeks.

  • It looks like I’d rather shave my eyeballs with a rusty spoon than go through Canada right now.

  • It was far easier to enter and visit the eastern European countries under communism. This has nothing to do with public health. How does pronouncing people as essential or non essential to how they are treated prevent the spreading of a virus?

  • Said it here before – where oh where is the Alaskan Delegation /Governor on this ?
    Canada doing it’s best to punish Alaskans over the flu
    It’s almost like our leaders don’t want free independent Alaskans living in remote hard to access areas of Southeast
    Between the ferry system being gutted and Canada punishing efforts on this slot of families will have to bail
    What’s next , move everyone to the lower 48 where they can keep
    an eye on you and administer the booster jabs ?

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you

  • O Canada! … screw you!
    I actually think this is sort of a tit-for-tat for Brainless Biden closing down Keystone Pipeline. Many Canadians are bitter about that. I dialog with Canadians on forums, and many hate their government and many also are bitter toward Americans who can travel through Canada, when, they, themselves, are restricted. I have heard stories of refusal of service, broken car windows, keyed paint, and general animosity. Can’t say I don’t understand that.
    I will not be traveling through anytime soon.

  • April 2021 was our 25th and possibly last Alcan trip. Also ran the Klondike road running relay from Skagway to Whitehorse for 11 years. Is Sportyukon even going to have this race next month? Bureaucrats in Canada have lost their minds!

  • Wow, a country that protects it’s southern border. What a great thought, perhaps we could learn something?

  • My wife and I with two dogs successfully crossed the border on April 29th this year at Sumas. We overnighted in Bellingham waiting for our covid test results. When the negative test results showed up in email we dashed to the border and got in the Alaska line. There were 4 vehicles in front of us. Five hours later we were allowed in. Our original plan was to drive in shifts and when necessary pull over to one of the outhouse/rest stops to rest. We had spare gas and plenty of food and water. We wanted to avoid contact as much as possible. We were informed that our plan was unacceptable and we had to instead mingle with the locals by staying in hotels along the way. We did not have to quarantine and they gave us four days to get out of the country. We successfully did the drive in three days. I felt very uneasy on the drive like we were being watched and would be in trouble if we made a mistake. We were informed Mounties would be checking hotel parking lots to make sure we stopped at the hotels along the way. We did have to stop at one check point to provide paperwork and fill out more paperwork. It made me think of what traveling may have been like in Soviet Russia back in the day. I was very happy when we were finally able to turn our paperwork over to the Canadian border control and were allowed to continue to US border control on the way to Haines. We got recorded calls every day for he next two weeks concerning our quarantine and scheduling for our next covid test. Kind of a left hand/right hand thing since we didn’t have to quarantine or get another test. I do enjoy traveling through Canada but not so much for this trip. At that time ArriveCAN mobile app did not work well for straight thru Alaska residents. After a few phone calls we were told to ignore it. This trip was an experience.

    I will make one other point. Canada has just opened the border for Americans. Our administration continues to keep our border closed for Canadians. Why?

  • Good question. Without a vax, does remaining in your vehicle count as self isolation? As of August 9, no self-isolation is required for fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents of the United States (who currently reside in the US), who are admitted to enter the Northwest Territories.
    Unvaccinated children (and those traveling with them) will not be able to forgo the mandatory 10-day isolation requirement. All travelers entering the Northwest Territories must file a self-isolation plan, regardless of vaccination status. To fill out a self-isolation plan and find further information about NWT travel restrictions, visit the Government of the Northwest Territories website.
    How about the special exemption for transportation of household goods to a residence in the lower 48?

  • I think some Canadians are getting very frustrated with the strict lockdown, masking and travel restrictions imposed by the Canadian Government.

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